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THE .^-■• 



"^^^^ .^.-^ 


I 706-1 790 

An idealized interpretation of the portrait by J. S. Duplessis. 
Reproduced from an engraving by A. Krause, in the possession of the author. 





W %^ W 

Published by 
Doubleday, Page & Company 

The Associated Advertising Clubs 

of the World. 




Copyright, 1917, hy 
The Associated Advertising Clubs of the World 

All rights reserved, including that of 
' ', ;' '. ' '. r 'trdnsJaliO?! into foreign languages, 
• '- ". ,' '•' "• '"■ ' " \ the Scandinavian 


Edgaj' Fahs Smith 

Provost of the University of 


Educator J Chemist, Publicist, 

Creative Leader of American Thought 

this book is dedicated 

in grateful appreciation of 

his cordial and abundant hospitality 

to the delegates to the 
Twelfth Annual Convention of the 
Associated Advertising Clubs 
of the World, 

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To the Judicious and Impartial 


Courteous Reader, 

'iSltXifJi'NE of my day dreams contained the hope 
"S" O #J# that business cares might some day relax 
#Sl#2##6l sufficiently to permit devoting the time 
necessary to a careful performance of what I felt 
would be an agreeable task, the writing of a book 
on the life of that many-sided man, Benjamin 
Franklin, dealing primarily with his activities as a 
printer, using the word in the sense which it pos- 
sessed in his time, when it included printing, ed- 
iting, publishing, and advertising. 

Many years ago I began to collect on a modest 
scale what is known as Frankliniana — books re- 
lating to Franklin's history, editions of his writings, 
specimens of the product of his press, reproductions 
of his portraits, etc., and as the collection grew my 
wonder increased that although Benjamin Frank- 
lin himself placed so much emphasis upon that 
part of his activities which related to printing, 
among all the published books about him and his 

viii To the READER. 

accomplishments there was not one devoted to that 
phase of his career. 

Reference to this fact was made at the annual 
banquet in honor of the anniversary of Franklin's 
birth of the Poor Richard Club in Philadelphia, 
January 17, 1916, in an address by Mr. Herbert 
S. Houston, president of the Associated Adver- 
tising Clubs of the World. Mr. Houston said that 
the year 1916, because of the holding of the twelfth 
annual convention of the Associated Advertising 
Clubs in Philadelphia, with the buildings and 
grounds of the University of Pennsylvania, which 
Benjamin Franklin founded, as the scene of its 
sessions, would be a particularly appropriate time 
for the publication of such a book, and he did me 
the honor to nominate me for its authorship. 

Other tasks were in hand that prevented imme- 
diate adoption of the suggestion, so that the work 
could not be promptly begun, and consequently it 
has therefore had to be performed somewhat hur- 
riedly in order to keep the promise as to date of its 
publication, a statement I make because of a regret- 
ful appreciation of the fact that it could have been 
much better done. 

As to the physical structure of the volume, it 
has been the aim to make it conform typograph- 
ically somewhat nearly to the style of the books 
printed by Benjamin Franklin. He had positive 
ideas as to bookmaking, as will be seen in the quo- 

To the READER. ix 

tations from his writings, and we have endeavored 
to produce a book that would meet with his ap- 
proval could he have opportunity to pass judgment 
upon it. 

Grateful acknowledgment for invaluable service 
in connection with the preparation of the book is 
made to Messrs. Henry L. Bullen, of Newark, N. 
J., Walter Gilliss and Edmund G. Gress of New 
York, and Dr. William J. Campbell and Harrie A. 
Bell of Philadelphia. 

The Author. 

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/^^HAP. I. T/ie Colonies at the Be gi fining of 
the i8M Century and the First American 








Printers. Page 

Toung Franklin as a ** Printer s Devil,'* 
The First ^^ Tourist'' Printer, 
In Samuel Keimers Shop in Philadelphia, 
^Journeyman Printer in London. 
A Plan of Life, 
J. In Philadelphia Again as Foreman of 

Keimer s Shop, 5^ 

8 . The New Finii of Franklin and Meredith, 6 1 

9 . Publisher and Bookseller, 6 8 

10. The Pennsylvania Gazette, 95 

1 1 . Poor Richard's Almanack, 1 1 o 

12. As a Business Man, 129 

13. Partnerships, 138 

14. Typefounder, 150 
I 5 . The Private Press at Passy, 1 6 1 
16. Advertiser and Propagandist, 166 

xli The CONTENTS. 


The First American Humorist, 



Literary Style. 



Literary Works, 



Literary Friends, 



The Love of Books. 



Public Service, 



^^ Our' Benjamin Franklin, 




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Be?ija}jnn Franklin s Portrait — Frontispiece. 
Title Page of the ^'■Booke of Psalmes^ Page 
Record of Benjamin Franklm's Birth. 
Title Page by fames Franklin. 
*^The Ne-w England C our ant'' 
'•^The Independent Whig'' 
Title Page of^'The Religion of Nature Delin- 
Franklm s Diagram for Dally Conduct. 
Title Page of ^^ The History of the Quakers." 
First and Fourth Page of the '^Phlladelphlsche 

Zeltung," ^o—'ji 

Title Page of '■'■The Psalms of David." 73 

Title Page of'*Catos Moral Dlstlchs." J4^ 

Title Page of^^A Treaty of Frle?idshlp." 75 

First Page of ^^ The A?tierlcan Magazine." y6 

First Page of '^ The General Magazme." yj 

Title Page of ''A Catalogue of Books." 79 

Title Page of ''A Letter from the Rev. Mr. 
Geo. Whltefield." 80 





Title Page of^'A Collection of All the Laws'' 82 

*^The Yearly Verses of the Printer s Lad'' 83 

Title Page of*^M, T. Cicero's Cato Major." 85 

Index Page from ^^The Cato Major." 86 

First Peading Page of '■'■The Cato Major." 87 
Pages Showing Type Arrangement of ^^The 

Cato Major." 88-89 
Bill to Thomas Penn for Printing. 91 
Bill to the Library Company for Printing. 9 1 
Parker' s Inve?itory. 92—93 
First Page of ^^ The Universal Instructor." 96 
First Page of ^^ The Pennsylvania Gazette." 99 
Advertisetnents in **The Pennsylvania Ga- 
zette." 104 
Broadside Advertising the Wonderful New 

Microscope. 105 
^^Kalendarium Pennsilvaniense." 1 1 1 
* ^Apollo Anglicanus ." 114 
Title Page of ^^ Poor Richard's Almanack " 1 16 
Inside Page of *^ Poor Richard's Almanack." 125 
Pocket Edition of ^^ Poor Richard's Almanack.' ' 127 
Franklin's P>e signs for Paper Money. i 34—1 35 
Type Used at Passy. 153 
Initials Cast from Matrices Owned by Frank- 
lin. 156 


Type Specimen Sheets Issued by Benjamin 

Franklin Bache. i c 8- 1 c o 

First Page of a Pamphlet Printed at Passy. 163 
Title Page of ^'A Modest Enquiry into Paper 

Currency.'* 160 

Title Page of ''Plain Truth." 171 

Supplement to ''The Boston Independent Chron- 
icle ^ J-T-l 

Title Page of "Cool Thoughts on Public Af- 
fairs r I7_5 
The first American Cartoon. 177 
Flag Designed by Franklin. i j-j 
First Page of " The Spectator:' i 8 9 
Two Verses in Franklin s Reformed Alphabet. 1 94 
Title Page of "Experiments and Observations 

on Electricity:' 206 
Title Page of"Oeuvres de M. Franklin:' 208 
Title Page of First Edition of the "Autobio- 
graphy:' 210 
Title Page of Volume by Jatiies Ralph. 214 
The "Tou are now my enemy" Letter, 217 
Title Page of Sermon Acknowledging Frank- 
lin's Gift of Books. 223 

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The Colonies at the Beginning of the 

Eighteenth Century and the First 

American Printers, 

#6##2##S#T the beginning of the Eighteenth Century, 
Ijl A #J# ten Colonies stretched up and down the 
#J##6#^i' Atlantic Coast in North America, which, 
although they had been settled by representatives 
of different European nations, all acknowledged the 
sovereignty of Queen Anne of England, who, 
lately come to the throne, was soon to leave it to 
give place to that long line of German Georges 
that was to play so considerable a part in the 
affairs of the New World. England claimed 
greater dominion in North America than the 
narrow fringe of settlements along the Coast, 
but was actually in possession westward, only to a 

2 The First American Printers, 

line roughly marked by the Allegheny Mountains; 
farther to the west was New France, and to the 
south and southwest was New Spain. 

Among the colonists, in addition to the English, 
were Scotch, Irish, Welsh, French, Dutch, Ger- 
mans, Swedes, Danes, and Spaniards. The wealth- 
iest of the English settlers lived in the south, 
particularly in Virginia, where had settled the 
Royalists, or Cavaliers, driven from England by the 
successes in the civil wars of Oliver Cromwell and 
his Roundheads. Contrasted with these aristo- 
crats were the Georgians, brought over a few years 
after the opening of the century from English 
debtor prisons by Oglethorpe, and the Puritans 
of New England, with their austere religious 
tenets and disregard of opportunities to lay up 
stores of this world's goods. In Virginia one must 
hold property in order to exercise the citizen's right 
to vote; in New England he must be a member of 
the Church. 

Most of the denominations and creeds in relig- 
ion were represented. In Virginia to be saved 
from eternal damnation meant conformity to the 
rules of the established church, while the Puritan 
in New England, having fled from what he re- 
garded as persecution by that same ecclesiastical 
institution, placed his reliance principally upon the 
teachings of the Bible; and the Quaker largely 
disregarded both and believed that one could find 

The First American Printers, 3 

a solution of his spiritual problems only in the 
dictates of his own heart. 

On the bleak shores of New England the diffi- 
culties arising from repellent natural conditions 
inculcated in the people habits of industry and 
frugality. In the south, where nature was more 
generous in the distribution of her favors, large 
plantations were operated by wealthy owners, and 
luxury and indolence were in evidence. 

The population one hundred years after the 
landing of the first shipload of colonists on an 
island in the James River, in 1607, is not known. 
No census was ever taken, and the estimates vary 
between one half million and one million souls. 

There were three large towns — Boston, New 
York, and Philadelphia, naming them in the order 
of their size. Even their population cannot defi- 
nitely be given. Cotton Mather, who would 
seem to be a credible witness on most subjects, 
said, of the population of Boston, two years be- 
fore the opening of the century, that it was ''more 
than eighteen thoufand." Herman Moll, pub- 
lisher of an "Atlas Geographus," who ought also 
to be a good witness, said in 17 19: "Bofton is 
reckon'd the biggeft Town in America, except 
fome which belong to the Spaniards. ... Its 
inhabitants are reckon'd about 12,000." Cap- 
tain Nathaniel Uring, in his "Voyages and Trav- 
els," published in 1726, said: "The Town is near 

4 The First American Printers, 

two miles in length and in fome places three- 
quarters of a mile broad, in which are reckon'd 
4,000 houfes; moft of them are built with brick 
and have about 18,000 inhabitants." 

In 1700 New York contained less than six 
thousand population, of whom nearly one half 
were negroes. Some aristocratic families are said 
to have owned as many as fifty slaves. New York, 
although having been under English rule for nearly 
half a century, was still a Dutch town and most 
of the sights and sounds were Dutch: gable-end 
houses, streets that were little more than narrow, 
crooked lanes, cobblestone sidewalks, but withal 
"clean, compact, tidy." 

Philadelphia was chartered as a city by William 
Penn in 1701, at which time it had seven hundred 
buildings and forty-five hundred inhabitants, hav- 
ing almost doubled in population since Penn's jour- 
ney across the seas to his Colony nine years be- 
fore. It was first settled by the Swedes, who were 
joined by the Quakers sent over by Penn and still 
later by Germans at Penn's invitation, thus be- 
coming the first really cosmopolitan city on the 
newly settled continent. William Penn said in 
regard to it: "I wanted to afford an Afylum for the 
good and the beft of every Nation. I aimed to 
frame a Government that might be an example. I 
dcfired to fhow Men as free and happy as they 
could be." 

The First American Printers* 5 

Transportation between the Colonies was re- 
stricted principally to the sea. There were trails 
across country that could be followed by foot or 
on horseback, but none of any length or connecting 
important points. The traveler from Boston to 
New York must go by sailing vessel out around 
Cape Cod and southwest through Long Island 
Sound, taking two to four days for the voyage, 
depending upon wind and weather. It was prac- 
tically as long a voyage by water from New York 
down the New Jersey coast and up the Delaware 
Bay to Philadelphia. 

The century was well along toward middle age 
before covered wagons began to run regularly 
once a week between New York and Philadelphia, 
traveling at the rate of about three miles an hour. 
Later a coach, advertised as "The Flying Machine" 
because it made the journey in good weather in 
two days, was put on. In bad weather the jour- 
ney was not only longer, but less comfortable, 
for the reason that frequently passengers were 
called upon to alight and help to pry the wheels 
out of the mud. 


Several printers had come and gone in the 
American Colonies before Benjamin Franklin first 
saw the light of da}^ early in the year 1706. First 
of them all was Stephen Daye. He had been en- 

6 The First American Printers, 

gaged by the Rev. Jesse Glover, "a worthy and 
wealthy diffenting clergyman" to come to Amer- 
ica with a printing equipment which the Rev. 
Mr. Glover had purchased in England and which 
he was bringing over to further the affairs of the 
colonists from the points of view of Church and 

Unfortunately, Mr. Glover died during the voy- 
age. His widow engaged Stephen Daye to set 
up the equipment and to take charge of it, the 
item in the records of Harvard College being to the 
effect that "Mr. Jofs. Glover gave to the College 
a font of Printing Letters, and fome gentlemen of 
Amfterdam gave towards furnifhing of a Printing 
Prefs with letters forty-nine pounds and fome- 
thing more." 

Daye conducted the printing plant at Harvard 
for about ten years, being succeeded for a short 
period by his son Matthew, who spelled his sur- 
name "Day." Stephen Daye remained in Cam- 
bridge and some years later brought suit against 
Henry Dunster, the first president of Harvard 
College, who had married the Widow Glover and 
thereby come into control of the printing office, 
for the recovery of five hundred dollars which 
sum Daye said was owing to him as an unpaid 
balance for his former services. Daye presented 
a petition to the General Court for a grant of three 
hundred acres of land as "Recompenfe of his Care 

fefe '■"^ 'dJC 

pfi WHOLE ^f^ 


r4)r TRANSLATED int, ENGtTStt ("4^ . 
'HCi OHetre. (LTJi 

Mv-^ Whereuntois prefixed a difcoarfede- '^u 
'^5^claring notonly the lawfullncs, bucalfopjGi 
*M^ thcnecdIityofthehcavenJy Ofdinancc ^Lpj 
I '^r -' of fiugiDg scripture P/alrae$ in u JV , 
pifel thcChurchcsof UiK 

H(t God, tV3, 


^frw Z^ ti&e ifW o/(7o^ dwell flenteauflj in 
t jr J**, iw «// mfdome, ttacbit>£ andexbort- 
P^^'* ^"S o'*'^'"^^^ '"" VfalmefPHmnti^ and 
ir>^ QuritHollSenri^Jivging to the Lordwitb 
L'^r grace in jottrhearts, 

r^p Jamts V. 

U*»^ i ir^ay le afflicted Jtt himfr0j^4iiiif 

Vi(% «»7 *ff mffry /« bim pngffalme%, 


Title page of the first book published in English America. 
Printed by Stephen Daye, at Cambridge, Mass., 1640. 
Original Size 3i" x 6". 

8 The First American Printers- 

and Charge of furthering the work of Printing," 
which was accepted. 

Matthew Day was the second colonial printer, 
but he died before he was thirty years of age, and 
only one known work bears his imprint. 

Samuel Green was the third colonial printer 
and he continued to follow the craft until 1692, 
his death, at eighty-seven years, occurring ten 
years later. In 1656 there were two presses in 
Cambridge operated by Green, one belonging to 
Harvard College, which was probably that pur- 
chased in England by the Rev. Mr. Glover, and 
the other the property of the corporation, the sec- 
ond one having been brought over for the purpose 
of promoting the education of the Indians. 

Green was the first to print the Bible in the 
Indian language. Isaiah Thomas, in his "His- 
tory of Printing in America," says of this Bible: 
"It was a work of so much consequence as to ar- 
rest the attention of the nobility and gentry of 
England, as well as that of King Charles, to whom 
it was dedicated. The press of Harvard College, 
in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was, for a time, as 
celebrated as the presses of the universities of 
Oxford and Cambridge, in England." 

Green, too, received a grant of three hundred 
acres of land. He was a man of character and his 
high standing in the community is attested by the 
circumstance that for thirty years he held a com- 

The First American Printers. 9 

mission in the Cambridge Militia Company as 
captain. Robert F. Roden, in his history of "The 
Cambridge Press," says of him: "Although not 
the first printer at our first press, his name, and 
not that of Stephen Daye, is the most glorious 
name in its history." 

Of quite another calibre was Marmeduke John- 
son, an English journeyman printer, who crossed 
to America in 1660 to assist in printing Eliot's 
Indian Bible — the greatest achievement of the 
Cambridge Press; Johnson thus becoming fourth 
in the ranks of American printers. He seems to 
have been a capable workman but was continually 
in debt and occasionally in conflict with the au- 
thorities. In 1663 the Commissioners wrote from 
Boston to the corporation in England in regard to 
Johnson, *'If there bee occation further to Imploy 
him It were much better to contracT: with him heer 
to print by the fheete than by allowing his ftanding 
wages," and further, "concerning Marmeduke 
Johnfon the printer whofe Demeanor hath not 
been fuitable to what hee promifed wee fhall leave 
him to youerfelues to difmifTe him as foone as his 
yeare is expir'd if you foe think fit." 

The above were the first printers in Massachu- 
setts and in the Colonies, and all of them, as 
will be noted, were located in Cambridge. The 
first Boston printers were John Foster, Samuel 
Sewall, James Glenn, Samuel Green, Jr., Richard 

lo The First American Printers o 

Pierce, Benjamin Harris, and Bartholomew Green, 
the first five of whom were successively connected 
with one printshop and had passed away or had 
retired from business before Benjamin Frankhn 
was born. There may have been an exception in 
the person of an educated Indian known as James 
the Printer, whose name, however, does not ap- 
pear in a position of responsibiHty until the year 
1709, when a Psalter in both the Indian and Eng- 
lish languages was published with the joint im- 
prints of "Stephen Green and James Printer." 

Of these Boston printers, one, Benjamin Harris, 
whose printing house was "over against the old 
meeting house in Comhill," deserves special men- 
tion. He is sometimes spoken of as the father 
of American journalism, because in 1690, four years 
before he returned permanently to London, he 
issued a "news-letter" entitled "Publick Occur- 
ences Both Foreign and Domeftick," which he 
proposed to furnish once a month or oftener, if 
required. It contained four pages, one of them 
being blank, for correspondence. Only one copy 
of it is known to be in existence, having been dis- 
covered during a search in the State Paper Office 
in London by the historian of Salem, Mass. 

Bartholomew Green went over the river from 
his father's establishment in Cambridge to Boston in 
1690, and set up "the best printing apparatus then 
in the country," but a complete loss by fire put him 

The First American Printers. 1 1 

out of business a few months after he started. 
He returned to Cambridge for two years and was 
employed by his father. In 1692 we find him again 
engaged in printing in Boston, where he continued 
to conduct an establishment for forty years. In 
it was produced the first American newspaper, 
the "Boston News-Letter," a weekly; No. i being 
dated April 24, 1704, and printed for John Camp- 
bell, postmaster. 

One other printer was to be found within the ter- 
ritory of the English Colonies during the closing 
days of the Seventeenth Century, and he was 
destined to have a good deal to do with the affairs 
of Benjamin Franklin. He was William Bradford, 
a Quaker, and the son of a printer, one among the 
first immigrants to the new settlement on the 
Delaware River, where he arrived in 1682. He 
returned to London, where he married the daugh- 
ter of Andrew Sowle, a printer, and came again 
to Philadelphia in 1685, bearing a letter from 
George Fox, the Quaker, introducing him as a 
sober young man who was on his way to Philadel- 
phia to set up the trade of printing Friends' books. 
His first known work is dated 1686, and because 
of inadvertent and apparently harmless reference 
to the government authorities he got into difficulty 
with them. This difficulty continued until 1693, 
when having received an invitation from the Gov- 
ernor of New York to remove to that province and 

12 Franklin as a Printer's Devil, 

a guarantee of two hundred dollars a year and 
the public printing, Bradford removed to New York 
and became the first printer of that province, 
continuing to be the only printer in it for thirty 
years. He established the '* New York Gazette " in 
1725, thus becoming New York's first newspaper 
publisher. He is said, although without authority, 
to have been of noble birth, and he always sealed 
with a crest showing his coat of arms. 

C< €0 €^ Co Z^ €^ €^ il^ Z^ it' €' €' €' C^ €<> €' €' C^ €< iB €' €' 

Young Franklin as a Printer* s Devil. 

TOSIAH FRANKLIN, dissenter and dyer, re- 
moved from Banbury in Oxfordshire, Eng- 
land, to Boston in New England, with his wife 
and three children in 1685. After the birth of four 
more children his wife died, and later he married 
Abiah Folger and by this marriage had ten chil- 
dren, a total of seventeen, of whom ten were sons 
and seven were daughters. Benjamin was the 
tenth and youngest son and the fifteenth child. 

Although Pope Gregory XIII promulgated the 
reform of the Julian calendar in 1582, and it was 
in that year adopted by all Roman Catholic coun- 
tries, Great Britain and her colonies delayed until 
1752 before doing likewise. Therefore, in the old 
public Register of Births, still preserved in the 

Franklin as a Printer's Devil. 13 

Mayor's office in Boston, it is recorded that Benja- 
min Franklin, son of Josiah and Abiah Franklin, 

adi i7og 

Record of the birth of Benjamin Franklin in the Register of Births in 
the Mayor's office in Boston. 

was born January 6, 1706. With the adoption of 
the reformed calendar came an advance of eleven 
days, and accordingly the day of the birth, as wc 
now have it, is January 17. 

The location of the birthplace is usually given 
as Milk Street, opposite South Meeting House, 
where the records of the Town of Boston show Josiah 
Franklin was granted liberty to build a house eight 
feet square on land belonging to Lieut. Nathaniel 
Reynolds. Josiah Franklin later occupied a house 
**at the sign of the Blue Ball," corner of Hanover 
and Union streets. Jared Sparks, whose edition 
of Franklin's works was published in 1840, satis- 
fied himself that the removal did not occur until 
after Benjamin's birth. Subsequent investiga- 
tion by Samuel G. Drake, whose authoritative 
"History and Antiquities of the City of Boston" 
was published in 1854, seems to establish the fact 
that Benjamin was born in the larger house. 

The day of the birth was a Sunday, and the 
pious father took the baby boy from his humble 
cottage to the South Meeting House, and he was 
there baptized under the name of his paternal 

14 Franklin as a Printer*s Devil, 

uncle Benjamin, at that time living in England, and 
who became later the only member of the numerous 
Franklin family to join Josiah in the New World. 

Benjamin being the tenth son was considered to 
be something in the nature of a tithe, and this fact 
and his very evident fondness for reading, indicat- 
ing a tendency toward a literary pursuit, caused 
his father to decide that the boy should become a 
minister of the church. Accordingly, in order to 
give him an education, at the age of eight years he 
was placed in the Boston grammar school and in 
less than a year rose to the head of his class. Prov- 
ing to be deficient in mathematics, he was next sent 
to a teacher noted for ability to instruct in writing 
and arithmetic, but although Benjamin remained 
a year, he made but little progress. Josiah Frank- 
lin, finding that the income from his business as a 
maker of candles and soap, which he had adopted 
because there was small demand for his services as 
a dyer, was hardly sufficient to meet the needs of his 
family and keep the younger children at school, 
withdrew his son from the school — the two years 
mentioned being Benjamin's sole experience in 
educational institutions. 

The ministry project being abandoned, Josiah 
took the boy into his own establishment, intending 
to teach him the soap- and candle-making trade, 
and he continued there until he was twelve years 
of age. The work proved to be distasteful and 

Franklin as a Printer's Devil. 15 

fearing that Benjamin would follow his oldest 
brother's example and run away to sea, the father 
wisely decided to find a more agreeable trade for 

Accordingly, father and son together visited 
the workshops of the town, and finally it was 
decided that he should take up the trade of cutlery, 
his cousin Samuel, son of the elder Benjamin, 
being established in Boston in that line. Benja- 
min was employed there for a short time only, 
his departure resulting from the inability of his 
father and his cousin to agree upon the price to be 
paid for his instruction at the trade, it being the 
custom of the time for a master not only to receive 
the services of an apprentice free, but to be paid 
for the tuition, the sum for such a trade as cutlery 
being about one hundred dollars. 

At about this time Benjamin's older brother 
James, a printer, had but recently returned from 
England with a printing outfit, and it was proposed 
to Benjamin that he adopt the trade of printing. 
The early Boston printers enumerated in the 
previous chapter had removed or died and at the 
time there were but two other printing establish- 
ments in the town, one conducted by Thomas 
Fleet in Pudding Lane and the other by Samuel 
Kneeland in Prison Lane. James Franklin had 
established himself on the corner that later became 
Franklin Avenue and Court Street. 

1 6 Franklin as a Printer's Devil. 

Although printing dealt with books, of which the 
youthful Benjamin was so much enamoured, he 
was not inclined to look with favor upon the project 
connecting him for life with that trade. However, 
the persuasion of his father prevailed and he was 
apprenticed to his brother James for nine years. 
The terms of apprenticeship at printing were easier 
upon the father than those imposed by cutlers, the 
sum to be paid to James Franklin being only about 
fifty dollars. 

A clause of the form of apprenticeship used at 
the time is as follows: 

"During which term the faid Apprentice his 
Mafter faithfully fhall or will ferve, his fecrets 
keep, his lawful commands everywhere gladly do. 
He fhall do no damage to his faid Mafter nor fee 
it to be done of others; but to his power fhall let, 
or forthwith give notice to his faid Mafter of fame. 
The Goods of his faid Mafter he fhall not wafte, 
nor the fame without licenfe of him to any give or 
lend. Hurt to his faid Mafter he fhall not do, 
caufe, nor procure to be done. He fhall neither 
buy nor fell without his Mafter's licenfe. Taverns, 
inns, or ale-houfes he fliall not haunt. At cards, 
dice, tables, or any other unlawful game he fhall 
not play. Matrimony he fhall not contradl; nor 
from the fervice of his faid Mafter day or night 
abfent himself; but in all things as an honeft and 
faithful apprentice ftiall and will demean and be- 
have himfelf towards his faid Mafter and all his 
during faid term." 

Franklm as a Printer^ Devil, 17 
The obligations of the master were as follows: 

"And the faid James Franklin, the Mafter, for 
and in confideration of the fum of ten pounds of 
lawful Britilli money to him in hand paid by the 
faid Jofiah Franklin, the father, the receipt of 
which is hereby acknowledged, the faid apprentice 
in the art of a printer which he now ufeth, fliall 
teach and inftrucft or caufe to be taught and in- 
ftrucled the befl: way and manner that he can, find- 
ing and allowing unto the faid apprentice meat, 
drink, wafliing, lodging, and all other necefTaries 
during the faid term." 

He was also to pay journeyman's wages during 
the concluding year. The apparel of apprentices to 
be provided by the master is thus described by John 
F. Watson in his " Annals of Philadelphia " : 

*'A pair of deerskin breeches, coming hardly 
down to his knees, which, before they could be al- 
lowed to come into the presence of ladies, at meet- 
ing, on the Sabbath, were regularly blacked up on 
the preceding Saturday night in order to give them 
a clean and fresh appearance for the Sunday; a pair 
of blue woolen yarn stockings, a thick and substan- 
tial pair of shoes well greased and ornamented with 
a pair of small brass buckles, a present from his 
master for his good behavior, a speckled shirt all 
the week and a white one on Sunday, which was 
always carefully taken off as soon as he returned 
from meeting, folded up and laid by for the next 
Sabbath. The leather breeches after several years* 
wear got greasy, as they grew old, and were only 

1 8 Franklin as a Printer's DeviL 

flexible so long as they were on and kept warm by 
the superflux of youthful heat." 

The terms of the apprenticeship agreement be- 
tween James Franklin and his brother were ad- 
hered to with one modification. Benjamin was a 
constant reader and although able to borrow many 
books he possessed a desire for some of his own. 
In order to secure funds with which to make pur- 
chases, he proposed at the age of sixteen, having 
been four years in the employ of his brother, a 
change in their arrangement. The brother being 
unmarried did not keep house, but boarded himself 
and his apprentices in another family. Benjamin 
proposed to accept in cash one half of the sum paid 
by his brother for his board, and the proposition 
being accepted he provided his own meals, and 
out of the sum received from his brother was able 
to save one half. In this way he found funds that 
enabled him to accumulate a small library of his 
own. Says Paul Leicester Ford, in "The Many 
Sided Franklin:" 

"It is to be questioned, if the first years 
of the apprenticeship were of any particular 
value to Benjamin save on their mechanic side, 
for the product of James Franklin's press is a 
dreary lot of gone-nothingness. A few of the 
New England sermons of the day: Stoddard's 
'Treatise on Conversion'; Stone's 'Short Cate- 
chism'; 'A Prefatory Letter about Psalmody,' in 




Curious and Valuable 


Confifiing of 

Drvinity, Poetry, 

PMofopky, VUys. 

Mjhry. Voyages and 

Mathematicks, TYavels, 

Generally well Bound. 

To be Sold by AUCTION, 

At the Crown CofFee-Houfc in King-Street Bof.oft, 
oti'Monday the Tvcenty Sixth Vhy of xKisln^int 
OUober, I'jt^.- Beginning every Evening at half 
an Hoor after Four a deck* until all be fold. 

The Books will befhewnby Samuel GerriJhBodk' 
feller, near the Old Mteting-Houfe^ where Cata- 
logues may be had^ram ; alfoat Mr. He7tcbmaff$, 
and at the Place of S a l &. 

Printed b/ J. Franklin. 1719 

Title page by James Franklin. 

20 Franklin as a Printer's Devil, 

defense of church singing, which many Puritans 
still held to be unholy; an allegory styled 'The Isle 
of Man,' or, 'Legal Proceedings in Manshire 
Against Sin'; Care's 'English Liberties'; sundry 
pamphlets on the local politics of the moment, 
such as 'A Letter from One in the Country to His 
Friend in Boston,' 'News from the Moon,' 'A 
Friendly Check from a Kind Relation to the Chief 
Cannoneer,' and 'A Word of Comfort to a Melan- 
choly Country' ; two or three tractates on inocula- 
tion, and one aimed half at the Boston clergy and 
half at the fair sex, entitled 'Hooped Petticoats 
Arraigned by the Light of Nature and the Law of 
God,' were the chief output of the new printer 
during the years his brother served him.'" 

After James Franklin had been established as a 
printer for about two years, he secured an order to 
produce a newspaper, the "Boston Gazette," es- 
tablished by William Brooker, the successor as 
postmaster of John Campbell, publisher, as has 
already been noted, of the " Boston News-Letter," 
the first real American newspaper. William 
Brooker was soon succeeded as postmaster by 
William Musgrave, who took the printing of the 
"Boston Gazette" from James Franklin and gave 
it to Samuel Kneeland, whereupon James Franklin 
established a new newspaper, the "New England 

It was the first newspaper not connected with a 
postoffice to be published in America. Number 
I of the "Courant" appeared Monday, August 

Frmiklin as a Printer's Devil, 21 

17, 1721, printed on a half sheet of crown size 
printing paper, the type used being small pica 
with, occasionally, long primer. About two years 
later pica was adopted and used continuously. 

James Franklin established the paper against 
the protests of his father and many of his friends, 
who pointed out to him that there were already 
three papers in the Colonies, two of them in Boston, 
and that another one there could not be made to 
succeed. The youthful publisher, however, turned 
a deaf ear to their remonstrances. He proposed 
to issue a different newspaper from any then in 
existence. He formed a number of his friends, 
among them several young doctors, into a club, 
the members of which were to furnish at least one 
original essay each week. The paper was hostile 
to the clergy, attacked some of the religious opin- 
ions of the day and opposed new fads, one of them 
which especially came in for severe but mistaken 
censure being the newly advanced theory of in- 
oculation for the smallpox. The *'Courant" soon 
drew the fire of the heaviest guns. Its older com- 
petitor, the "News-Letter," said of it: 

"On Monday laft the 7th Currant, came forth a 
Third Newfpaper in this Town, Entitled, The New 
England Courant, by Homo non unius Negotii; 
Or, Jack of all Trades, [the motto of Franklin's 
address to the public] and it would feem, Good at 
none; giving fome very, very frothy fulfome Ac- 

THE [ N" 80 

New-England Courant 

From Monday February 4i to M o K D ay February 11. 1723. 

The Iat£ Publiflier of thU Papcr^ findlr.T fo ntany iFjion- 
vtfblenees would arile by hU carrying the ^i-^n:J»lrip^ ami 
publick News to be fupervls'd by the Secreliry, a^ to Tcn- 
ctt hie cAtTjtng it on unprofiubic, has miircfy Jropr tlif 
Undertoiung. The prefent Publisher having receivN.'tlic 
foUowfflg PicM, defirc's the Re::deirs to accept of it as a 
Pieface 10 'what thef may herMfter meet with iiif<lii» 

tiffi.tto uoriaci di/trimxi Carjm/ie qtu^quapt, 
tfuSa innnnti LItmt mjln Jcci rjU 

ONG hM (he Prcf* g^ jn. 
cd in bringing fottli an 
hatctul, b'jt l)umc}t*ue 
Itrocxl tif F.irty Painph Ms, 
malicious Scribbld,' inj 
Billinlirite KibaUr)'. ■ Vhc 
Kalicoiir u;id bitteine.j it 
has unhappily iuhtl^-d ^tu 
Mens ininiN, and to uUat 
a Uegrce it lta« Ibn.-cd 
' and Icavcn'd tlie Tem^tr* 
of Pcrrena Ibrmerly e|>t- 
mcd iMne «f the t^t 

util Lm.vvn here, to need 

eny further Proof or Rcprefenirition nf .he Matter 

No generous and Impartial PerlunilRn c; n l™c the 
nrefcntljndertakins. "hJch is defijjned. purely lor the ])««•. 
ion and MerrinuSt r.f the Re.. Icr. P'«« »f ""S""^/ 
*d Mirtl, have a fe. ret Chmn m them to aUay th<^ Heat, 
:.nd Tumours of our Spirits and to u.akc a Man iorget h,. 
■ eftleli Refentmenls. They have a ftrange Po»er to tune tho 
hirfti Diforders of the Soul, and reduce us to a ferene and 

'"^he^ln-DeMk .I.U WecKlv Paper «m be to c.,er^ 
tain the To<vn "ill. the jnoft <".",. .,1 and J'« J'^B '"'^'^''"» 
of Humane Life, »vhieh in lb lar,;e a Phec as B?/!.«, mil no. 
fail of a univerlal Exemplifieat.on . N<.r lliall .ve be .van ,ng 
to fill up there Papers «KU a E"^^"' '""j'^i'""^,''',. Z, 
lerious MoraU, wf ich may be fro.n the ....Ht ludKrous 

and odd Parts of Life. . ,^ ,i- .. K„. .V«« 

Aj for the Author, that is tVe next Quclbon. Bot tho 
we profefs our felves ready to oblige the mgen.ous and cour- 
teou. Reader will, mod Sorts of In.elligence, T'^^"': ;:^ '■;« 
a Referve. Nor will it be of any Manner of A'lvan age 
cither to them or to the Writers, that the.r names fl.ould be 
pub Jhed aTd therefore in this Matter we defire the tavoo 
Sf yon to futfer us to hold our Tong.,r;. Which tho at 
this Time of Day it may found like a very imcomtnon Ke- 
HueVye™ it proceed, from the very Hearts ..t your H.unblo. 

^'jirthis Time the Reader perceiVes iW more than one aft 
en^ged io the prefent Undertakmg. ^ ct .s there one Per- 
'on. an Inhabitant of this T.own ot'^£.>». whom wc honour 
•5 a Doflor in the Chair; or a perpetual D,ar.tor. 

The Society had def.gnM {o prefent the PuM.cU » th .^ 
Efilffies. but that the Limner, fo whom he was prelented lor 
a D?au-ht of his Countenance, deferyed (and th,s be .s ready 
to ofrer°upon Oatli) Nineteen Features in hir Face, more than 


his Forehead in a llrait Ljne down to h|S Chin, m fuch lorr 
ihat Mr. Painter protcns. it is 4 double 1-aee. and be. II M»« 

focr PcmrJi fo» the Pourtralture. However, tho" this iitible 
Face has fpoilt us of a pretty Piflure, yet we all rejoiced t-> 
lee old Ja/iui in our Company. 

There is no Man in Boftim better qualified than old 7«l</ 
for a .Ceuratilcn, or if you pleafe. an Oiftrvclor, being a 
Man of Inch remarkable Ofiith, as to look two ways at 

As for his Morals, he is a ehearly Chriflian, as the Country 
Phiafc expreffes it. A Man ol good Temper, courteous 
Deportment, found Judgment f a mortjl Hiter of Nonienie^ 
Foppery, Formality, and endlefs Ceremony. 
■ As tor his Club, they aim at no greater HjppI-ic6of 
Honour, than the Pubiicfc be made to fsn'om. that itii^tiie. 
utraoH of their Ambition to attend -upoO and do all.iiaaguu-' 
ble good Offices to good Old Jmai the Ccurantttr, who Ki. 
and always « ill be the Readers humble Servint. . ■ . 

P. S. Gentle Readers, we defign never to let a Paper paB 
without a Latin Mono if we ran poflibly pick one up. whi<* 
carrii'* a Chirm in it to the Vulgar, and the learned admire 
ihe pleafurc of Conliming. We (hould have obliged die 
World with a Greek fcrap or two. but the Printer has 09 
Types, and therefore we intreit the candid Reader not la 
mpiitc tlie defea t.) our Ignorance, foi our Do{>or na fay 
ill ihe fireri Letters by heart. 

Wi Uajifi/t S^tcti It th fnrUavia, OaobeftMj 
m jlrinJj pnhV.JhM, woj frrfinft tr ,>mt> U ma^ V 
otr Camir/ RrnJ,ri ; -jir Jlctll t/irrrjht i'ftrt it i»-tUt 
Dafi Pafrr. 

His MAJESTY'S nioft Gracious SPEECH 
to both Houfcs of Parliament, on Thurs- 
day Oftober II. 1722.. 

t/fy Lcrdieitd CcnlUnuH, 

I Am fom- to find my felf obliged, at the Oaeoiajof 
this Parliament, to acquaint you, That a danjetow 
Confpiiacy has for Ibme time formed, and is fiiU cartyiag M 
ogainll my Perfon and Govemintnt, in Favour of » Popilh 
Pretender. '. , , , 

The Difcoverios I have made here, the InfonnatiMU I 
have received from my Minillers abtoad, and thelnteUIgeooei 
I haye had from the Powtrj in Alliance with me, md Iniad 
(torn moft parts of Europe, have given ine moftt ample ana 
current Proofs sf this wicked Debgn. ... 

The Confpirators have, by their EmilTariei, nude me 
Brmigeft Inllances for AiiiHancc from Foreign Powert. b«it 
were difappointed io their Expeaatiom 1 However, conSdmi 
in tlieir Numbers, and not difcouraged bjr their former iU 
Succefs, they rtfolved (once more, upon their ovra ftrength, K> 
attempt the fubverfion of my Government. . 

To this end they provided confiderablc Sums of Monen 
engaged great Nurolie" of Officers from abroad, fecu^ 
large Quantities of Anns and Ammunition, and thought 
iherafcivrs in fuch Rea^|ine&, that had not the Confpiracy 
been timely difcovered, we Oiould. without doubt, betbce 
now hare feen the whole Nation, and partie-ularly the City cf 
Lonilon. involved in Blood an(l Confuuon, • „ . . . t 

The Care 1 have taken has, by the Bleffing of God, hiOi- 
erto prevented the Execution of their trayterous ProjeSs. 
The Troops have, been iuKuiiped all thU Summer 1 (« R'P-, 
ments ( though Very nerellary lor the Security of djat Koj- 
dom ) have been ■ brought over from Irilmdf The btate* 
General have given me alTuranccs that they woald keep a 
conGderaMe Body of Forces jo readinet to embark on the 
, lirft Notice of their being.wanted here j which w»» aU l^- 

The newspaper established in 1721 by James Franklin. Original in the 
possession of the Curtis Publishing Company, Philadelphia. Size 65" x 10". 

dfCrcd of tli«ni, Willi dtMnnilfed not to put my PeopU to 
any more Kjjvumi t&n whit wit «brolutcly necefliiy for 
their Peace uul Stcuii;)-. Some of ttic Compinitors hivr 
btra tajLcn uji ^nd frcurcd i Endetvcur^ arc ulcd for sppic- 
htadiaz others. 

, th Ufrii aid CntUmi «, 

luvicg thu» in (jentril laid before you the Stite of the 
|»efciit donfpiracy. 1 mull leave to your Conilderatien, what 
II proper and ncteffiuy to be done for the Quiet and Safety of 
'the Kingdom. I cannot but believe, that the Hopes .ar.J 
EjpefUtioDS of our Enenries are very ill grounded, in flatter- 
ing themfclvej that tie late DiCcontec«v(o«afioned by pri- 
»«e I/offts and misfortuntj) however induftrioufly and nia- 
lieiobfly fomented, »rc turned into » Difatfeftion and Spirit of 

'Had I, fince my acceflioD to the Throne, ever atiempicd 
any Invalion in bur Eftablldied Religion ; had I, in any one 
Inlbnce, invaded the Liberty and Property of oy Subjcff^ 
I Ihould Icfi rrondcr at any Endeavour! to alienate the Al- 
leAions of my People, and'dWw them into Meafurcs that can 
end in nothiiij; but their own dcftruftion , But to hope to 
perfwade a free People, in full enjoyment of all that'» dear 
ami valuable to them, to exchange Freedom for Slavery, the 
Proteftant Religion for Popery, and to Sacrifice at once the 
Pn'ceof fo much Blood and Treafure at have been fpent iu 
our prefent Ei'tablilhmcni, fecms an Infatuation which cannot 
he accounted for. But howc\'cr vain and unfucceliful thefe 
ilefperate Projifli nay prove in the End, they have at prefent 
lt> Ijr the dcl'ircd Eft'eLT, a& to create Unealinela and Oini- 
■«Jcnce in the Minds of niy Pcopici vvhidi our Enemies i;n- 
|irove to their own Advantage, by framuig PloU: They 
depreciate all Proocrly thrt is veiled in the Publidc Fund>, 
ami then complain t^f the low State of Credit j They make 
an Pjicreafc ot, tlie National Expences ^«:c£ury, and then 
t'laniuur at tlic Jiintlicn of Taxes, and endeavour t^ impute 
to my Government all the Gricvancei, tlie Mifchicfa and 
Calamities which they alone create and occafion, m^m^^ 

I Willi lor nothing more thoB to fte the Publick Expencrs 
letcned, and tlie great National Debt put into a Method of 
licing gradually reduced and difchargcd, with a ftrifl Regard 
•0 Parjl«enlary Faiths ,Aud a more favourable Opponuniiy 
coidd never have been doped for than tht St«» ot ^roftwnd 
Peace which wx now eiyoy with all our' ^highbours. But 
Publick Credit will alwavi languilh under Daily AUrou and 
Apprehenriom of PublicE Danger; and, as the Entiniej of 
inir peace have been able to bring this L-nmediate Mifchid 
upon ui, nothing can prevent them from continuing to fub- 
jeft (he Nation to new and conftant DilHculiies and DirtrtlTei, 
l>ut the WiiJoin, Zeal and vigotoua RefoUition of. thb 2"* 

CtKtUnun tftht Houfe ef Ccn/HHit, , 

I liave ordered the At count to be made up and lail before 
you, of the eatraordiiiSry Charge that has been iocurred thU 
:>ummer, for the Defence and Safety of ihe Kingdom) and 
I have been particularly careful, not^to direi5l any rixucnce to 
be made greater orfooncr than was abfolutely necellary.' I 
have lilcewiic ordered Eftimale^ to be prepared and laid before 
you, for the Service of the Year eiifaing : And I hope the 
further provifions tvhich the Tn^afonabie prailice of our Ene- 
mies have iii^'d: ncicllarv for our Common Safety', may be 
ordered with fuch Frugaifiy, as very little to exceed the Sup- 
flies of the lalt ye.'u-. 

Mj Lordi and Gcnltsmtn, 

t need not cell you of what infinite Concern -it u to tlie 
peace and Tran<;uiliiy of the Kingdom, tltat this Parliament 
Ihouldf upon thit 0(\-aru>n, exert themfclves with a more tlian 
ordinary Zeal r.iul Vijjmir : An entire Unity among all tjiat 
finccrely wilh neil to thct>rcli;nt Edahlilliment is now become 
abfolutely neceltary. ' Our Enemies have too long taken 
Advantages from youK Dilfcrcnccs & DilTentions i Let it be 
llnown, that the Spirit of I'Oper)*, which betides nothing but 
Confolion" to the Civil and Religious Rights of a Hrntellant 
Church and Kingdom j (however abandoned foinefcwmay 
Ik, in delpite cf -all Obligations Divine (and Humane ) ha* 
nos fo far polTcli'd my people as to make them ripe for luch a 
falal Change. Let the World fee, that the general dispoli- 
tioa of the Nation is no Invitation to a Foreign /"ower ti^ 

invade u, nor Encouragement fo Dotn#iUct EnemiJJ t» 
kindle a CirU War "m the Bowels of At Kiogdan. Youi 
own Intrtft and Welfare calls upou you to deftnd your- 
fe'ves • I ftall wholly rely upoo the Divine prot«<boB, -Jie 
Support of my Parliament, and the Affeilioos of my p»ople ; 
which I Oiall endeavour to pref.rre, by fteadily adhering t« 
the Conftiiution in Church and State, bv contending to » 
make the' Laws of my Realms the ruled Meafures of all my 

Ltmiiit, OSit. i«. The Humble Addttffes oC both 
Houfes of Parliament, and thit of the Convocation of Can. 
<erbury, full of Loyalty and Tluty, have been prefenttd tot 
his Majefty; which Addrefles his Majefiy was pleafed Iu 
receive very gracioufly. And "tit not doubted but the Iteidy 
adherence ot the PacliameAt and Clerg)-, tu his Majelty', 
fcrfon and Government, will put an End to the Traytenxw 
Dcligns of thofe who are Enemies to both. 

LmJiUfOaob. ji. 'Tis faid thot a Scheme or Draugli/ 
of a Confpiifacy wai found among Counfellor Lead's Piper-, 
/ifriicd with his own Hand, whereby the Tower was 10 natr' 
been firft fei2"d, the Palace of St. James's fct on Fire, aiij 
Certain JDefiieradoea to be at hand, who, under pretence oJ' 
giving AITuunce, wet to have murder'd his Majefty | aoj 
that a very gnat Nnniber of difaffefted perfons were 10 In 
alTembled in Lincoln's Inn-Ficld'>, (« put the Tonu tinirtr-. 
d'niely into rhc grutest Confulion. 

Bi>flsii, Fib. f\. 

Laft AVccU the Reverend Mr. Otum, Miniller of the 
Epifcopal Church, at Brlllol; came from thence with a Pet; 
lion from Twelve of \m Hc-.rcr>, -(who are imprifuned fui 
Refulinij to pay Rales to the Prclbvteriin Miniller of Brifrii:) 
to the Lieut. Governour, "ho, iviln the Advice of the Coun- 
cil, promis'd Mr. Oram ,to ufe hit Intertft for their Relief .if 
the next Meeting qf liic General AlTcmhly, the Men liein^ 
imprifon'd by Vertuc of the Laws of the Proviiu^. 

We have Advice from the Eallward, that aoo Men, under 
iheCommapdofCapt. Harmon, afe gone to Norigiwock, iu' 
quefl of the Indians, and 170 to Penobfcot, under comnlajut 
of CoL Weftlirook. 'Tis laii^ another patty *re to piarcb Iu 

, ' Vefin<!it7Mormi>gobaut..4>«f dockta Fir* brake out at 
Mr. Blulfi's Work-Viou't m a>rnhtU, which burnta cuinid 
erale part of ibe Kooi' l>cfarc if was exfljiguilticd. 

Cufitm'Rnft, Etpim. Bntred Inwarii. 
Daniel. Jackfon mna Nenr-Hampthire, Jomthai^ Chart 
from l^mMtt, Johit .JMcins frpm North' Canlljii,laOiu< 
Seiijamln lor South CaroliuJ, Charles Whitfield frura Marti- 
neco, John BufuurfShip Sarah from London. 

. Cltared Oxt. None. 
OgS/iutrd BtntiJ. Amos Breed for New tondon, WUliaw 
Fleidw for Maryland, James Blm foe Aonapola Xoyil 
John Trobridg«.fof North Carolina, J. fumpcy for Auiriii 
Jacob Pinhonie for I^ndon. 

T^HE heft new Phlladebh'a Tow»4>oulted Ptower, to (m 
■•• fold by Mr. WiUiam Clark'tn Meirhinf. Row, at 
Twen»y-EiglK Shillings ^r Kundird. 
A Struct Boys Time for + 'Vears 'to bedil^dlpf. Me 
^*- is about fi Yeart of Age, and can keep Ammpts. 
Enquire at the Blue Ball in Union Street, arjl know further. 

•<.• nil PaffT htrvmg ait -uiiii ftxinral «• Autptemu: 
InTtv/n aftJ Cauntr/, ai 10 rcquirt a Jar gnaltr Huwitrtf 
llam to hi printed, thojitltrtu tf ikc ttitr tublkk faUrt- 
aHditbtiigbr/Ua more gincraiiy read by k-Mofl JiaSiri: 
BmnKviri, -wno de not lake it ia^lu PuiiiJhtTl/iitit frvpir i> 
Si-ve Ibu fvl,l:ck Notice far the InfArajrwe.; «/ IHtle ■»»*• 
sutviA harut Admtifements ixjtrlei in-l/i* taiCc Printi, 
■uMci Uq tmij /uwc trimd iit ibi, PaUr at a imJfrMH 

BO^ON: Printed alid fold by Benjamin Fraj»klin Iu Qu«n Street; wheri 
Advertifcraents are taken in. 

This is the first number to be issued in the name of Benjamin FrankHn. Although 
he left Boston a few months after its publication, his name was used as pub- 
lisher of the paper until June 4, 1726. 

24 Franklin as a Printer's Devil, 

count of himfelf, but left the continuance of that 
ftile fhould offend his readers; wherein with sub- 
miffion, (I fpeak for the PubHfher of this Intelh- 
gence, whofe endeavours has always been to give 
no offence, not meddling with things out of his 
Province) The faid Jack promifes in pretence of 
Friendfhip to the other News-Publifliers, to amend 
like soure Ale in Summer, Refledling too, too much 
that my performances are now and then, very 
very Dull, mifreprefenting my candid endeavours 
(according to the Talent of my Capacity and Edu- 
cation; not foaring above my Sphere) in giving a 
true and genuine account of all Matters of Fad:, 
both Foreign and Domeftick, as comes any way 
well Attefted, for thefe Seventeen Years & an half 

Castigation was to come upon the "Courant" 
from a yet more important source. The ponder- 
ous Rev. Increase Mather wheeled into line and 
the character of his thunderings is indicated by 
this extract from a contribution published in the 

"Advice to the Publick from Dr. Increafe 
Mather. Whereas a wicked Libel called the New 
England Courant, has reprefented me as one 
among the Supporters of it; I do hereby declare, 
that altho' I had paid for two or three of them, I 
then, (before the laft Courant was publifhed) sent 
him word I was extremely offended with it: In 
fpecial, becaufe in one of his Vile Courants he in- 
fmuates, that if the Minifters of God approve of a 

Fra n klin as a Prin ter 's Devil. 2 5 

thing it is a Sign it is of the Devil; which is a horrid 
thing to be related." 

These thrusts could be borne; indeed, it is easy to 
imagine that such fulminations may have awak- 
ened feelings of unholy glee in the breasts of the 
young men who were doing what they could to 
provoke them, particularly as tradition still ex- 
ists to the effect that the indignant Dr. Mather, 
having discontinued his subscription, secretly 
sent his grandson to buy copies of the "Cour- 

Soon, however, the venturesome feet of James 
Franklin and his associates strayed much farther 
in the risky paths of criticism. It was a dangerous 
thing to trifle with governmental authority and 
he who attempted it was sure to come to grief. 
The government had its eye upon the "Courant" 
and only awaited opportunity to pounce upon 
it with heavy hand. Soon the opportunity 

Pirates were known to infest the New England 
waters and there was a feeling that the government 
was not as efficient in doing away with them and 
their mischief as might have been the case. This 
feeling was voiced in an article supposed to come 
from Newport, R. I., appearing in the "Courant," 
which concluded with the statement: 

"We are advis'd from Bofton that the govern- 
ment of MalTachufetts are fitting out a fliip to go 

26 Franklin as a Printer* s Devil, 

after the Pirates to be commanded by Captain 
Peter Papillon and it is thought he will fail fome- 
time this month, Wind and Weather permit- 

Shortly after the publication of the number 
containing this extremely offensive paragraph, the 
Council, with the Governor presiding, met and 
resolved " that the faid Paragraph is a high affront 
to this Government." 

Further, resolved, "That the Sheriff of the 
County of Suffolk do forthwith commit to the 
gaol in Bofton the body of James Franklyn, 
Printer, for the grofs offence offered to this Gov- 
ernment in the Courant of Monday laft." 

A week's close confinement in the stone prison 
brought a change of mind, temporarily, at least, 
to James Franklin, as is witnessed in the following 
humble petition: 

"A Petition of James Franklyn Printer, Humbly 
Shewing that he is Truely Senfible ^ Heartily 
Sorry for the offence he has Given to this Court, 
in the late Courant, relating to the fitting out a 
Ship By the Government, ^ Truly Acknowledges 
his Inadvertency ^ Folly therein in affronting the 
Government, as alfo his Indifcretion ^ Indecency, 
when before the Court, for all which he Entreats 
the Courts forgivenefs, ^ praying a dif charge from 
the Stone Prifon, where he is Confined, by Order 
of the Court, and that he may have the Liberty 

Frankliit as a Printer's Devil, 27 

of the Yard, He being much Indifpofed cif Suffering 
in his health, by the Said Confinement." 

Released from his uncomfortable quarters in 
the jail, however, Franklin's "impudence" re- 
turned. Soon after, a single number of the " Cour- 
ant" contained three articles, all of them objec- 
tionable to the government, and as a result a joint 
committee of three from the Council and four 
from the House was appointed to investigate his 
case. Its recommendation was that the General 
Court should forbid James Franklin to *' print or 
publiHi the New England Courant or any Pamph- 
let or Paper of a like nature, except it be firft fu- 
pervifed by the fecretary of this Province," and 
that bonds should be exacted from him for his good 

Young Benjamin Franklin in the meantime had 
been making progress in his elder brother's esteem. 
Desiring to try his hand at writing but believing 
that James would be prejudiced against him be- 
cause of his youth, he made a practice of writing 
short pieces and slipping them at night under the 
printing office door where they were found by his 
brother the next morning. The pieces were read 
and approved and it was gratifying to their youth- 
ful author to hear names of well-known persons in 
the community suggested as possibly responsible 
for them. Finally Benjamin, having written about 
all that he felt able to write, revealed his deception 

28 Franklin as a Printer's Devil. 

to his brother and his friends, much to their sur- 

A crisis having been reached by James in his pub- 
lishing affairs, he turned now to Benjamin as afford- 
ing a way out of his difficulties. He proposed 
that since he was unwilling to continue to publish 
the "Courant" under the supervision of the secre- 
tary as ordered by the Court, the paper thereafter 
be issued in Benjamin's name. The proposition 
was accepted. In order not to have the master 
still legally liable, the apprenticeship indentures 
were publicly cancelled, but, unwilling to surrender 
what he believed to be a good bargain, James 
secretly executed new indentures preserving the 
conditions of the old. 

James Franklin was a hard task master. Also 
he was ill-natured, suspicious, taciturn, and his 
high-spirited young brother found it difficult to 
get on with him, particularly when arguments 
were supplemented with blows. Finally Benjamin 
notified James that he considered their relations 
at an end, knowing that James would not dare to 
produce the secret apprentice agreement. James 
accepted the resignation but as a means of retali- 
ation for what he considered to be the injustice 
done him, visited the other printing offices in 
Boston and induced the owners to refuse to give 
work to his brother should he apply to them for 



The First ** Tourist " Printer, 

■pENJAMIN FRANKLIN was in a quandary. 
He had devoted five years to an effort to 
learn the printing business and had attained a 
considerable proficiency in it. Aside from the 
printing establishments in Boston and Cambridge 
there were only four in the Colonies: one in 
New London, one in New York, and two in Phil- 
adelphia. Because of his brother's ill-natured 
activity all of those at hand were closed to him, 
save only that individual's own which he had just 
quitted and to which he was resolved he would not 

To reach the other towns where printing offices 
were located meant cither long, exhausting, and 
dangerous walks through trackless forests or a 
journey by boat. To go by boat required the ex- 
penditure of passage money, of which he had none. 
His sole possessions were the books he had been 
able to purchase with the scanty savings from his 
brother's allowance, and from the precious books 
he was most reluctant to part. Besides, there was 
parental opposition to be encountered. The father 
sided with the elder brother in the dispute and the 
seventeen-year-old son knew that, should he ask 
his father's consent to his plan to go away from 
home, not only would the consent be refused but 

3 o The First * * Tourist ' ' Printer. 

steps would be taken to prevent the carrying out 
of the project. 

However, Benjamin resolved to go away and to 
go secretly. He sold some of his books and with 
the connivance of his friend Collins and the cap- 
tain of a New York sloop, he went aboard a vessel 
bound for Manhattan Island. Three days of good 
weather and fair winds brought the vessel into New 
York Bay. The landing was made probably at 
the wharf at the foot of what is now known as 
Maiden Lane. A small stream ran down it at the 
time and entered the Bay at what was called the 
"V'lei Market," v'lei being old Dutch for valley. 
The one printing office of the town was conducted 
by William Bradford, "at the Sign of the Bible," 
on Hanover Square, not far away, and to it the 
youthful runaway apprentice immediately re- 

Bradford had no employment to give to the boy 
and he suggested that the journey be extended to 
Philadelphia, where his son conducted one of the 
two printing offices of the town and who, through 
the recent death of a workman, was in need of 
help. Upon this advice Benjamin immediately 
proceeded to act. 

There were three ways to go from New York 
to Philadelphia. One was over the Hudson River 
and by trail through the forest all the way across 
New Jersey to Camden, usually followed by those 

The First ** Tourist ' ' Printer. 3 1 

who could afford to ride horseback, and upon this 
route WiUiam Bradford, on some errand of his 
own and unknown to the boy who had just called 
upon him, at once set out. A second route was by 
boat from Manhattan Island across New York 
Bay and around Staten Island to Amboy, at the 
mouth of the Shrewsbury River, thence on foot 
through the forest for fifty miles to Burlington, 
between seventeen and eighteen miles above Phil- 
adelphia on the Delaware River, which at that 
point is about a mile wide, the last stage of the 
journey being usually covered by boat. The third 
route was by sailing vessel down the New Jersey 
coast and around and up through Delaware Bay, 
by which route young Benjamin sent his "chest." 

He chose the second route for himself, and his 
trip proved to be a most uncomfortable one. Be- 
cause of bad weather, thirty hours were required 
for the passage from Manhattan Island to Amboy. 
A squall tore the rotten sails to pieces; a drunken 
passenger fell overboard and was rescued with dif- 
ficulty; and it was necessary to drop anchor near 
the Long Island shore of the bay and to spend 
the night in the open boat in the midst of the 
pounding surf, the entire period without anything 
to eat or to drink. 

Franklin finally reached Amboy, however, and 
after a night spent in resting from his exposure 
and fatigue, he walked the fore part of the next 

32 The First ''Tourist'' Printer, 

day through the rain to a poor inn, where wet and 
tired and thoroughly miserable he went to bed 
wishing he had never left home. The next day's 
walk brought him within ten miles of Burlington, 
and after another night spent at an inn, one more 
day brought him to the town. 

He found to his regret that he had missed the 
regular boat to Philadelphia and that there would 
not be another for three or four days. He bought 
some gingerbread from a kindly disposed old wo- 
man, who sympathized with him in his predica- 
ment, and, learning that he was a printer, advised 
him to stay in Burlington and work at his trade. 
She did not know that something more than a 
pair of hands and a knowledge of how to use them 
would be required. On his explanation of the 
impracticability of her suggestion, she offered 
him lodging and entertainment for the three days 
of his prospective stay in Burlington, which offer 
he accepted, but later in the day while walking on 
the river bank he descried a boat bound for Phila- 
delphia, in which he engaged passage and, with- 
out being able to return to the home of his hostess 
to say good-bye to her, was soon on his way. 

At midnight, not having reached Philadelphia 
and fearing that they might pass it in the dark, the 
party landed and spent the night on shore. The 
next day they made an early start and soon were in 
the Quaker city. 


In Samuel Keimer's Shop in Philadelphia. 

TT WAS on a bright Sunday morning late in 
October, 1723, that Benjamin Frankhn ar- 
rived in Philadelphia, and he found himself in 
strange contrast with his surroundings. He was 
in his working clothes, probably very similar to 
the dress of apprentices described in Chapter 2 of 
this volume, his "best clothes" (to use his own 
expression) being still in the boat which was 
bringing them around by sea. Not being espe- 
cially presentable when new and clean, it can be 
imagined what the garb he wore looked like after 
a week or so of constant use on sea and land and 
miles of walks through mud and dust. 

His pockets, of large capacity as was the cus- 
tom, were stuffed out with shirts and stockings; 
tired, dirty, hungry, and with only a Dutch dollar 
left after parting from the shilling which he in- 
sisted upon paying for his boatride, against the 
protest of the boatmen because of his assistance 
at the oars, the runaway youth from Boston 
offered on his first entry into Philadelphia a figure 
in marked contrast to that of many years later, 
when he received a public ovation on his return 
from his ambassadorship to France. 

His first concern was to obtain something to eat. 
Walking up the street from the wharf, he met a 

34 I^^ Philadelphia, 

boy carrying bread, and ascertaining where it 
could be purchased, he went to the bakery and 
asked for three penny worth. In Boston it would 
have been only a moderate quantity, so he was 
surprised to receive three great puffy rolls. Having 
no room In his pockets, he put a roll under each 
arm, and, eating the third roll, walked up Market 
Street as far as Fourth Street. He passed the 
house in which lived Miss Deborah Read, who 
was standing upon the stoop, and she, struck by 
the uncouth figure which he made, tittered as he 
went by. It was an ungracious thing to do, but 
as Elbert Hubbard in his monograph on the Life 
of Franklin says, Benjamin in later years got 
good and even with her; he married her. 

Benjamin found his way back to the wharf 
where, his hunger having been satisfied, he gave 
the two remaining rolls of bread to a woman and 
her child who had been in the boat with him and 
who were going farther. Later, he found his way 
to an inn called "The Crooked Billet," in Water 
Street, where he got dinner, and where he slept 
all afternoon and all night. Monday morning, 
having tidied up a bit, he presented himself at the 
shop of Andrew Bradford, printer, and, much to 
his surprise, found in the shop the old man, Brad- 
ford's father, whom he had seen in New York. 

Andrew Bradford having no work for the young 
printer, the elder Bradford offered to show him to 

In Philadelphia, 35 

the other Philadelphia printing shop, conducted 
by Samuel Keimer. Keimer placed a composing 
stick in the boy's hand to see how he would man- 
age it and then said he would give him employ- 
ment soon, having at the moment nothing for him 
to do. 

William Bradford did not disclose his identity 
to Keimer, who thought the elder man to be a resi- 
dent of the town. Keimer was willing to talk of 
his affairs and prospects and Bradford led him aptly 
on, thereby obtaining information that could not 
but be of interest, if not of profit, to Keimer's com- 
petitor, Bradford's son. 

The part played by William Bradford in the 
little comedy caused Benjamin Franklin to refer 
to him in the "Autobiography" as a "crafty old 
sophister" which, however questionable his conduct 
may have been on this occasion, is not in keeping with 
his standing in New York. He was publicprinterof 
that state for fifty years, and of New Jersey for 
thirty years; was clerk of the New Jersey Assem- 
bly, and was vestryman for many years of Trinity 
Church in New York City. 

Benjamin Franklin lodged with Andrew Brad- 
ford, in whose shop he did small jobs. A few days 
later he was sent for by Keimer and put regularly 
to work. Keimer's printing house was not much 
to boast of. There was an old shattered press 
which had never been used and which indeed, 



W H I 

I^ec ulluM fat is valiJum Imperlum erat coeneft^is Seeiitiinihui Fepul't^ 
flagith JJorninum ut. Cenmonias Deum protc^CMti^ , • >«. , flacir. 

To the Lower Houft 0/ CONVOCATION. 

YOU, Gentlemen, who arc th*e Reprefcntativcs of che Clergy of£«> 
iUh^^ ar-s proper Patrons of a Work, wliick treats of Religion and 
the Clergy. It is written to promote Liberty^ Vcrtue and Piety j the In - 
serefts of which, I hope, you will always cfpoUle, and eftecrn as youe 
own ; and will confequcntly approve my Defign, and give m«yx)ur Thanks^ 
Nyhatevcr may have been the Succcfs of my Endeavours, 

The many wiM and unfcriptural Claims ftartetl, and impcruoufly mais. 
tein'd by very many of thofc you rek>rcfent (and I wi!h I could fay denied, 
tho'buc faintly, by any con fid crab le Number of othcts) gava Occafioh c» 
thefoilowing Sheets,* and, having in them, fhcwn to my Brethren, tli« 
Laity, the Abfurdity and Impiety of thofc Claims, by Arguments fctch'd 
fcom Rcafon, thcGofpc!, and the Laws of our Country ; I fliall, in this 
Addrcfs to your feives, endeavour to convince you, that it is yourlntercft 
to drop them ; and if I can lucceed in this Point, I prcfunic, all other Ar- 
guments may be ufclefs* 

Thefc Gentlemen, in the Heat of their Demands and Contention hi 
Power, have gone fo fjt towards Rome^ and borrowed fo many of her 
ftiociplcs, rhat I fee no other Medium left for them, but cither to proceed 
en in their Journey thither, (which, as they have manag'd Matters, is now 

Printed by Samuel Keimcr 1723-24. Benjamin Franklin probably set the type 
Original in the possession of the Curtis Publishing Company, Philadelphia 
Size si" X 6i". 

In Philadelphia, 2>7 

from what Franklin says of it, could not be used until 
he put it in order. There was one pair of cases 
containing a small worn-out font of English, 
one reason for the delay in Benjamin's employment 
being the necessity of waiting until another pair 
of cases could be obtained. 

Franklin worked steadily, saved a part of his 
wages, and made friends quickly. Keimer did not 
like the idea of his continuing to lodge with Andrew 
Bradford, and being unmarried and having no 
home of his own, obtained a place for him in the 
house of Mr. R.ead, father of the Miss Deborah 
previously mentioned. 

Among the friends he made was Sir William 
Keith, the English governor of the province, whose 
first knowledge of the boy came through acquain- 
tanceship with Captain Holmes, Benjamin's 
brother-in-law, master of a sloop trading between 
Boston and Delaware. Governor Keith met Cap- 
tain Holmes at Newcastle and being attracted by 
a letter from the boy which the Captain read to 
him, promised to call upon Benjamin on his re- 
turn to Philadelphia. This, the Governor and his 
friend, Colonel French, of Newcastle, later did, 
much to the boy's bewilderment and Keimer's 
astonishment. The "Autobiography" says, in de- 
scribing the visit: *' Keimer stared like a pig 

Sir William invited Benjamin to dine and con- 

38 In Philadelphia, 

versed with him in the most friendly and familiar 
manner. He assured him, what he already knew, 
that the printers at Philadelphia were wretched 
workmen, and promised him if he would set up 
for himself that the public business would be given 
to him and that as Governor he would do every other 
service in his power. Keith urged Benjamin to 
return to Boston and secure his father's assistance 
and gave him what is described as an "ample" 
letter addressed to the elder Franklin, recom- 
mending the project of Benjamin's setting up at 
Philadelphia as a thing that must make his for- 

Accordingly Benjamin gave up his position with 
Keimer and returned to Boston. His appearance 
there was unexpected and created some commotion. 
The family was glad to see him, excepting possibly 
his brother, who, says Franklin, "received me not 
very frankly, looked me all over, and turned to 
his work again." Evidently James could not 
forget his former grievance. It can happily be 
recorded, however, that in later years a reconcilia- 
tion was effected. 

The workmen In the brother's printing office, 
however, were much interested. They had many 
questions to ask and were open-eyed with astonish- 
ment when Benjamin showed them a handful of 
silver money, carelessly exhibited his watch, and 
as a crowning act gave them "a piece of eight" 

In Philadelphia, 39 

(about a dollar) with which to purchase liquid 

Josiah Franklin was nearly seventy years of 
age. Fifty years of trouble under hard conditions 
had imbued him with a very positive degree of 
conservatism. He received Governor Keith's let- 
ter with surprise, saying that he must be of small 
discretion to propose setting up an eighteen-year- 
old boy in business. He flatly declined to be a 
party to the enterprise and wrote a civil letter in 
reply thanking the Governor for the offer, but 
saying he considered his son too young to be trusted 
with the management of a business so important. 

He was evidently pleased with his son's progress 
in Philadelphia, however, and gave a parental 
consent to his return. He advised the boy to 
continue to save his money, to cultivate friend- 
ships, and to avoid making enemies by "lampooning 
and libelling," and promised that if by the time 
Benjamin was of age he had saved enough money 
to cut a respectable figure in the matter of setting 
up for himself in business, he would help out with 
the rest. 

On his return to Philadelphia, Benjamin pre- 
sented his father's letter to Governor Keith. Sir 
William on reading it said the father was too 
prudent. He declared he himself would furnish 
the money, directed young Franklin to give him 
an inventory of the equipment necessary and he 

40 Journeyman Printer in London, 

would then send to England for it. Benjamin 
had kept his negotiations with the Governor a 
secret between them; if he had spoken to others 
about it, the real character of his official patron 
would probably have been revealed to him. 

He prepared an inventory of the necessary equip- 
ment, costing about five hundred dollars. The 
Governor approved the plan of the outfit, as he 
probably would have approved any that would be 
presented to him, and asked if it would not be of 
advantage for the youthful printer himself to go 
to London to select the material. Benjamin said 
that it would be of advantage and arrangements 
were accordingly made for him to sail on a vessel 
plying between Philadelphia and London. 

Z^ t^ Z^ Z Z i^ €* i^ €^ €< it< vB €^ Z^ Z^ @ Z< Z Z Z Z Z 


Journeyman Printer in L^ondon, 

QOVERNOR KEITH frequently invited the 
young printer to his house, always referring 
during the visits to the proposed new business 
venture as a settled thing; letters to influential 
friends in England were promised, as well as letters 
of credit with which to purchase the press, types, 
paper, and other needed equipment. The letters, 
however, were never forthcoming when called for; 
finally the time arrived for leave-taking, and still 

Journeyman Printer in London, 41 

no letters. Instead, the Governor's secretary in- 
formed the caller that the Governor was extremely 
busy, but would be at Newcastle before the ship 
left that point and there the letters would be de- 

The Governor was at Newcastle when the ship 
anchored there, but was again too busy to be seen, 
and the polite secretary presented his excuses 
with the statement that the letters would be sent 
on board. The Colonel French previously men- 
tioned brought the Governor's despatches to the 
ship, all in one bag, which the captain refused to 
open until later in the voyage when there would be 
more time. When the moment arrived there were 
no letters for Benjamin Franklin, and then came 

A Quaker merchant named Denham, who sub- 
sequently was to play an important if limited part 
in Benjamin Franklin's life and who was sharing 
quarters with him during the voyage, came for 
the first time into a knowledge of the affair and he 
informed young Franklin of Sir William Keith's 
true character. Denham scoffed at the idea of 
the Governor giving a letter of credit, saying he 
had no credit to give. 

Benjamin had sorrowfully to accept the conclu- 
sion that he had been deceived and that his dream 
of soon becoming a master-printer was not to be 
realized. The disappointment was keen, but he 

42 Journeyman Prmter in London, 

seems not to have felt any great degree of animosity 
toward its author. In later years he generously 
summed up Keith's character by saying: "He 
wished to please everybody; and, having little to 
give, he gave expectations. He was otherwise an 
ingenious, sensible man, and a good governor for 
the people, though not for his constituents, the 
proprietaries, whose instructions he sometimes 
disregarded." Keith was eventually removed from 
office and died in London in old age, neglected and 

Arriving in London, Franklin and his friend, 
James Ralph, who had accompanied him, found 
themselves in a strange city with only fifteen 
pistoles, amounting to about sixty dollars, in 
Franklin's pocket and none in Ralph's. Ralph 
had some ability as a writer and expected to make 
his living with his pen, but was unsuccessful and 
after Franklin's stock of pistoles was exhausted 
went to a small village where he secured employ- 
ment as a schoolmaster. 

Franklin immediately secured work at Samuel 
Palmer's, a famous printing house in Bartholomew 
Close, which was the name of the enclosed space 
adjoining the Church of St. Bartholomew, the old- 
est church in London. The printing office was 
located in a part of the church called the Lady 
Chapel, at that time and for some time afterward 
devoted to secular uses. It has since been restored 

Journeyman Printer in London. 43 

to its original purposes and the attendant takes pride 
in saying to visitors, particularly to those from 
America, that it is the site of the printing office in 
which Benjamin Franklin worked at his trade. In 
the north ambulatory in the church is a tablet to 
Thomas Roycroft, printer of the Polyglot Bible of 

Samuel Palmer was more than an ordinary 
printer. He had visited America, was letter- 
founder as well as printer, and was engaged in the 
writing of "A History of Printing," only a third of 
which he had completed when he died in 1732. 

He proposed to issue his history in two parts: 
Part I, historical, which was published in 1632, the 
first history of printing in English; and Part H, 
practical. An interesting fact in connection with 
this proposal is that when it became known, to 
quote Timperley's "Dictionary of Printing," *'it 
met with such early and strenuous opposition from 
the respective bodies of letter-founders, printers, 
and bookbinders, and under an ill-grounded appre- 
hension that the discovery of the mystery of those 
arts, especially the two first, would render them 
cheap and contemptible . . . that he was 
forced to set it aside." 

At Palmer's, Franklin was employed in setting 
the type for the third (not the second, as stated in 
the "Autobiography") edition of a work called 
WoUaston's " Religion of Nature." Some of its rea- 


A T U R 


.dvTni>iror, •^■nn^iaxyiii "En Me's9 nafiimr tji» 'Euo-/|3«arj'. Plut. 
Xai'f «» BC istcraf T«?Ti]ica« Taj Tav vo>}\Sf a.v^^o^'rti^Vy tw "Aah'osian 

L O iV 2) O iV.- 

Re-printcd in the Year 1724. by Sam. Palmer; and 

SoM by Bernard L.iNTOTT, at the Cr;?/} /{["(f/x between the 7>»//? 
Gaffs ; J O s B o R N, at the Oxford-Arms in Lombardjlreet ; and 
AV. and J. 1 N N Y s, at the Weft-End of St. Tauls. 

Title page of the second edition of "The Religion of Nature" for which 
Franklin says in the "Autobiography" he set the type. He wrote from 
memory and in this statement was in error. He arrived in London in No- 
vember, 1724, and it was the third edition, published in 1725, upon which he 
worked. Original in possession of the author. Size 5" x 7I". 

Journeyman Printer in London, 45 

soning appealing to him as unsound, he wrote *'a 
Httle metaphysical piece," entitled *'a DifTertation 
on Liberty and NecefTity, Pleafure and Pain," 
in refutation. It brought him to the favorable 
attention of his employer, but because of its 
atheistic attitude Franklin afterward regretted its 
publication. He is said to have attempted to 
suppress the edition, but four copies of the pamph- 
let are in existence. 

Franklin now decided to make two changes. 
His savings had disappeared and his rate of living 
made it difficult to set aside anything from his 
wages. He felt the necessity of obtaining an in- 
creased income and he accordingly sought and 
secured a position in a larger printing office, con- 
ducted by John Watts in Great Queen Street, 
Lincoln's Inn Fields, in another part of the city. 
Watts was one of the eminent printers of his time. 
He was largely instrumental in establishing the 
great type-founding house of Caslon ^ Company. 
WiUiam Caslon, its founder, was an engraver of 
ornamental devices on the barrels of firearms, who 
also made bookbinding stamps and dies that were 
noted by Watts for their neatness and accuracy. 
He introduced young Caslon to other prominent 
employing printers, with the result that three of 
them raised the sum of five hundred pounds with 
which to set Caslon up in business. Watts contribut- 
ing one fifth of the amount. 

46 Journeyman Printer in London. 

The second change decided upon by FrankHn 
was occasioned by the fact that he was beginning 
to feel the want of exercise, to which he had been 
accustomed in America, and he therefore appHed 
for a place in the pressroom instead of in the com- 
posing room. The press on which he worked was 
subsequently brought to America and is now pre- 
served in the Museum of the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion at Washington. Later he returned to com- 
posing-room work, but in the same establishment. 
His expertness as a compositor resulted in his 
being placed on the rush work, which brought a 
higher rate of remuneration. 

The entry of a new man into a London printing 
office at the time was marked by the imposition 
upon him by his fellow workmen of a tax for drink. 
Franklin paid the amount, five shillings, without 
demur, when he went into Watts' printing office, 
but objected to paying a similar sum on his transfer 
to the composing room of the same establishment. 
His employer agreed with him and forbade com- 
pliance with the demand. However, after two 
or three weeks, during which time he found his 
cases regularly mixed up, the pages of the form 
upon which he might be at work transposed, and 
other similar annoyances, all of which were as- 
cribed to the chapel ghost, which it was explained 
*'ever haunted those not regularly admitted," he 
surrendered and paid the tax. 

Journeyman Printer in London. 47 

His abstemiousness was the subject of comment 
because it was a belief among the workmen that 
to do strong labor one must needs partake of strong 
drink. Franklin says: "My companion at the 
prefs drank every day a pint [of beer] before 
breakfaft, a pint at breakfaft with his bread and 
tea, a pint between breakfaft and dinner, a pint 
at dinner, a pint in the afternoon about fix o'clock, 
and another when he had done his day's work." 
Franklin showed them by example the fallacy of 
their belief as to the source of physical strength. 
"On occafion," said he, "I carried up- and down- 
ftairs a large form of type in each hand, when 
others carried but one in both hands. They won- 
dered to fee from this and feveral inftances, that 
the Waaler- American, as they called me, was 
ftronger than themfelves, who drank ftrong beer!" 

Franklin's wages were usually considerably in 
excess of those of his fellows. He never made a 
"St. Monday," a holiday, observed by the other 
workmen while recovering from the week end's 
dissipation. He received higher wages also be- 
cause of his superior ability, and he did not have 
four or five shillings to pay on Saturday night for 
drink consumed during the week, as did most of 
the others. He was soon lending money to them, 
carefully collecting it on pay day, with, one may 
be assured, a reasonable addition for interest. 
Acquiring a standing among the men, he pro- 

48 Journeyman Printer in London, 

posed some alterations in their chapel laws which 
were made. He offered other suggestions also, 
one being the substitution for the usual pint of 
beer at breakfast of a "large porringer of hot water 
gruel, Iprinkled with pepper, crumbed with bread 
and a bit of butter in it," which he convinced them 
made a cheaper breakfast and kept their heads 

He had been lodging in Little Britain at three 
shillings and six pence (about eighty-four cents) a 
week. He removed to Duke Street, nearer Watts* 
printing ofhce, at the same price, but deciding to 
obtain a cheaper lodging so as to increase his sav- 
ings, he announced the fact to his landlady and she 
reduced the price to one shilling and six pence per 
week. It was a bargain, but lodgings were cheap, 
compared to modern standards, in that day. It 
was about the time that we find Dean Swift writing 
a letter to "Stella" in which he says of his quarters 
in Bury Street, one block away from Duke Street: 
"I have a firft floor, a dining room and bedroom, at 
eight fhillings a week, plaguey dear!" 

Not far away from Duke Street is Craven Street, 
at No. 7 of which was Mrs. Margaret Stevenson's 
boarding-house, where lived Benjamin Franklin 
during the two periods of his representation of the 
American Colonies in England. The houses in 
the street were renumbered twice after he left; 
consequently when the Royal Society, of which he 

Journeyman Printer in London. 49 

was a member, in 1875 placed a tablet to his mem- 
ory it was attached to the wrong house, and i)atri- 
otic Americans who visited it during the succeeding 
forty years worshipped at the wrong shrine. Search 
of the London County Council records in recent 
years established the fact that it was at the house 
now numbered 36 that Franklin lived and at which 
he received so many of the world's elect. It is 
now a small hotel where those who make arrange- 
ments sufficiently in advance may occupy the room 
tenanted so long by the great American. 

An interesting fact in connection with this 
period of Franklin's life is that he was an expert 
swimmer, and so far as is known, he was America's 
first amateur athlete. With his accustomed thor- 
oughness he read books that dealt with the theory 
and practice of water sports; gave exhibitions that 
excited comment to the point that financial aid 
was forthcoming in a project to establish a nata- 
torium in London for him, and it was further pro- 
posed that he travel in Europe, giving exhibitions 
of his dexterity as a swimmer. 

He laid the matter before his Quaker merchant 
friend Denham, with whom he had kept in associa- 
tion, who discouraged it and advised him to return 
to America. Denham was about to go back to 
Philadelphia with a quantity of goods with which to 
open a store, and he proposed to Benjamin that 
he go along and take a position as clerk, keep the 

50 A Plan of Life, 

books, copy letters, and attend the wants of cus- 
tomers. Later there was to be advancement. 
Denham offered the equivalent of one hundred and 
sixty-seven dollars a year as remuneration, which 
was less than Franklin was then receiving as a 
compositor, but with the ever-present desire of the 
compositor to "get away from the case" the offer 
proved tempting and was accepted. Accordingly 
they sailed together from England, July 23, 1726. 

i^ i^ i^ i^ i^ i^ i^ i^ C' i^ i^ i^ i^ i^ i^ i^ €' i^ i^ i^ i^ % 


A Plan of Life, 

A VOYAGE across the Atlantic Ocean in the 
early years of the Eighteenth Century was 
something of an undertaking. The ships were 
small and uncomfortable at best, and during bad 
weather the conditions became almost unendur- 
able. The great changes for the better in ocean 
travel that two hundred years have brought are 
indicated in the paper which Franklin wrote en- 
titled : " Precautions to Be Ufed by Thofe Who Are 
About to Undertake a Sea Voyage." He gives, 
among other things, a list of the viands with which 
each passenger should equip himself, for says he, 
"the moft dif agreeable thing at fea is the Cookery; 
for there is not properly fpeaking any profeff'd 
Cook on board. The worft failor is generally 

A Plan of Life. 51 

chofen for that purpofe, who for the moft part is 
equally dirty." 

As to the passenger's equipment, he advises that 
**a fmall Oven made of tin Plates is not a bad piece 
of Furniture; your Servant may roaft in it a piece 
of Mutton or Pork." He warns against the carry- 
ing of live provisions. "With regard to Poultry 
it is almoft ufelefs to carry any with you unlefs you 
refolve to undertake the Office of feeding and fat- 
tening them yourfelf. With the little care which 
is taken of them on board fhip they are almoft all 
sickly and their flefh is as tough as Leather." 

The voyage upon which Franklin and his mer- 
chant friend and employer Denham embarked 
lasted eleven and one half weeks and the diary 
Franklin kept shows the trip grew so irksome that 
he finally began to wonder if it would ever come to 
an end. ''For my part," he wrote, "I know not 
what to think of it. . . . Sure the American 
Continent is not all funk under Water fmce we left 
it. I rife in the Morning and read for an hour or 
two perhaps and then Reading grows tirefome. 
Want of Exercife occafions want of Appetite fo 
that Eating and Drinking afford but little Pleaf- 
ure. I tire myfelf with playing at Drafts, then I 
go to Cards; nay, there is no Play fo trifling or 
childifh but we fly to it for Entertainment." 

Such a dull existence afforded plenty of oppor- 
tunity for meditation. This fact and Franklin's 

52 A Plan of Life. 

usual habit of reflection led him to draw up for 
himself a plan of life. "Thofe who write of the 
Art of Poetry," he said, "teach us, that, if we would 
write what may be worth Reading, we ought al- 
ways, before we begin, to form a regular Plan and 
defign of our Piece; otherwife we shall be in Danger 
of Incongruity. I am apt to think it is the fame 
as to Life. I have never fix'd a regular Defign 
in Life, by which means it has been a confuf'd 
Variety of different Scenes. I am now entering 
upon a new one; let me, therefore, make fome 
Refolutions, and form fome Scheme of Action, 
that henceforth I may live in all Refpects like a 
rational Creature. 

"i. It is necelTary for me to be extremely fru- 
gal for fome time till I have paid what I owe. 

"2. To endeavor to fpeak Truth in every 
inftance, to give Nobody Expectations that are not 
likely to be anfwered, but aim at Sincerity in every 
Word and Action; the moft amiable Excellence 
in a rational Being. 

"3. To apply myfelf induflriously to what- 
ever Bufmefs 1 take in hand, and not divert my 
mind from my Bufmefs by any foolifh Projedl of 
growing fuddenly rich; for Induftry and Patience 
are the fureft Means of Plenty. 

"4. I refolve to fpeak ill of no Man whatever, 
not even in a matter of Truth; but rather by fome 
means excufe the Fault I hear charged upon others, 
and upon proper Occafions, fpeak all the good I 
know of Everybody." 

A Plan of 'Life, 53 

To this plan he later made additions. One of 
them consisted of a set of twelve virtues, which 
he resolved to practise as follows: 

1. Temperance 7. Sincerity 

2. Silence 8. Justice 

3. Order 9. Moderation 

4. Resolution 10. Cleanliness 

5. FrugaHty 11. Tranquillity 

6. Industry 12. Chastity 

After practising them for some time he found 
he was doing so well that he had grown proud of 
the fact, which, as he reflected that pride was a 
vice, caused him to add another to the table of 

13. Humility 

Remembering the advice of the Greek philoso- 
pher, Pythagoras, to the effect that daily examina- 
tion is a necessary corollary to an attempt to 
attain perfection, he prepared a chart upon which 
it was his custom to check himself up at the close 
of the day. Of this system of self-examination 
he says : 

"I made a little Book, in which I allotted a 
Page for each of the Virtues. I ruled each Page 
with red Ink, fo as to have feven Columns, one 
for each Day of the Week, marking each Column 
with a Letter for the day. I croffed thefe Columns 
with thirteen red Lines, marking the beginning 
of each Line with the firft Letter of one of the Vir- 

54 A Plan of Life, 

tues, on which Line, and in its proper Column, 
I might mark, by a little black Spot, every Fault I 
found upon examination to have been committed 
refpecting that Virtue upon that Day." 

The diagram was arranged something like that 
shown on the next page. 

This chart was at first drawn in a memorandum 
book made of paper which, because of the frequent 
markings, proved not to be sufficiently durable, 
consequently it was transferred to one made of 
ivory leaves and the records were thus kept for 
many years. 

Order was the one virtue in which throughout 
his whole life Benjamin Franklin found it difficult 
to attain anything approaching perfection. Of 
this fault he wrote: "In Truth, I found myfelf 
Incorrigible with refpect to Order; and now I am 
grown old, and my Memory bad, I feel very fen- 
fibly theWantof it." 

While Franklin was Minister to France, William 
Alexander wrote to him, "Will you forgive me 
my Dear Sir for noticing, that your Papers feem 
to me to lye a little loofely about your hands — you 
are to confider yourfelf as furrounded by fpies and 
amongfl: People who can make a Cable from a 
Thread; would not a fpare half hour per day en- 
able your Son to arrange all your Papers, ufelefs or 
not, fo that you could come at them fooner, and 
not One be vifible to a prying eye ?" John Adams, 



















Diagram Franklin used in checking up his ob- 
servance of the thirteen virtues. 

56 A Plan of Life, 

who usually saw something to remedy in every 
situation, when he joined the embassy in Paris, 
according to Parton, at once ** objected to the dis- 
arrangement of the papers, and very properly 
addressed himself to the task of putting the em- 
bassy in order. He procured letter books and 
pigeon-holes, and performed a great deal of use- 
ful, and perhaps some superfluous, labor, in ar- 
ranging and rectifying the affairs of the office. 
In a word, he put the office into red tape." 

Fully realizing the need for all the check he could 
put upon his tendency to neglect the observance 
of Order in his affairs, Franklin early in life devised 
a plan to cover the twenty-four hours of the day, 
as follows : 

THE MORNING ( 5) Rife, wafli, and addrefs 
( ) Powerful Goodnefs! 
Queftion. What good Contrive day's bufi- 

(hall I do this day? ( 6) nefs, and take the 

( ) refolution of the day; 
( 7) profecute the prefent 

ftudy, and breakfaft. 
( 8) Work. 



(12) Read, or overlook my 

accounts, and dine. 
( i)Work. 

A Plan of Life. 57 

( 2) 
( 3) 
( 5) 
EVENING ( 6) Put things in their 

Queftion. What good places, 

have I done to-day? ( 7) Supper. Muficordiver- 

( 8) fion, or converfation. 
( 9) Examination of the day. 
NIGHT (10) Sleep. 


( I) 

( 2) 


Always a deep thinker on all important subjects, 
Franklin meditated long and earnestly upon that 
of religion and as a result formulated his own creed, 
which he said he felt contained the essentials of 
every known religion. It was as follows: 

"That there is one God who made all Things. 
"That he governs the World by his Providence. 
"That he ought to be worfhipped by adoration, 

prayer, and thankfgiving. 
" But that the moft acceptable fervice of God is 

doing good to Man. 
"That the Soul is immortal. 
"And that God will certainly reward Virtue and 

punifh Vice, either here or hereafter." 

58 Foreman of Keimer's Shop, 

Conceiving God to be the fountain of all wisdom, 
he supplemented his creed with this prayer of his 
own composition: 

" O powerful Goodnefs ! bountiful Father! merci- 
ful Guide! Increafe in me that wifdom which 
dif covers my trueft intereft. Strengthen rny refo- 
lutions to perform what that wifdom dictates. 
Accept my kind offices to Thy other children as 
the only return in my power for Thy continual 
Favors to me." 

@ il^ C^ €• €^ v^^ i^ i^ €^ €^ i^ v|> i^ i^ m @ i^ C^ i^ i^ €<• i^ 

In Philadelphia Again as Foreman of 
Keimer's Shop, 

"IV/TR. DENHAM set up his store in Water Street. 
''■'*■ He and his young clerk took living quarters 
together and for six months everything went along 
satisfactorily to both. Then both fell ill and al- 
though FrankUn recovered Mr. Denham did not. 
The store was taken charge of by his executors 
and Franklin was under the necessity of finding a 
new position. 

He tried to secure employment as a merchant's 
clerk, but, nothing offering, he accepted an offer 
from Samuel Keimer to take charge of his shop, in 
which was now employed a force of several hands. 
None was efficient, however, and it was for the 

Foreman of Keimer^s Shop, 59 

purpose of making them so that Keimer offered 
Franklin what was at that time a high rate of 

Franklin saw that what Keimer evidently had in 
mind was to employ him until the workmen, two 
of whom were bound servants, had attained some 
measure of the skill at the printing trade which 
Franklin had brought back from London, and 
then to dispense with the instructor's services. 
Notwithstanding that fact, however, the foreman- 
ship was accepted. The position was made 
attractive further, by the fact that Keimer closed 
his shop on Saturday and Sunday, which gave ad- 
ditional time for reading and study. 

The new foreman proceeded to set the shop in 
order and to instruct the workmen. As they 
increased in usefulness Keimer began to grumble 
at what he said were the high wages he was paying 
to Franklin. At the end of the second quarter 
he demanded a rearrangement at a lower rate of 
pay. He became dictatorial in his manner, made 
frequent complaints, and the break finally came 
over a trivial occurrence which is described in the 
''Autobiography" as follows: 

"At length a Trifle fnapp'd our connections; for, 
a great noife happening near the Court-Houfe, I 
put my Head out of the window to fee what was 
the matter. Keimer, being in the ftreet look'd 
up and faw me, call'd out to me in a loud Voice 

6o Foreman of Keimer's Shop, 

and angry Tone to mind my Bufmefs, adding 
fome reproachful Words, that nettl'd me the more 
for their pubHcity, all the Neighbors who were 
looking out on the fame occafion, being WitnelTes 
how I was treat'd. He came up immediately 
into the Printing-Houfe, continu'd the Quarrel, 
high Words pafT'd on both fides, he gave me the 
quarter's Warning we had ftipulat'd, expreffmg a 
wifh that he had not been oblig'd to fo long a 
Warning. I told him his wifli was unneceffary, 
for I would leave him that inftant; and so, taking 
my Hat, walk'd out of doors, defiring Meredith, 
whom I faw below, to take care of fome things I 
left, and bring them to my lodgings." 

Hugh Meredith, referred to above, is described 
as a "Welfh Pennfylvanian, thirty years of age, 
bred to country work, honeft, fenfible, had a great 
deal of folid Obfervation, was fomething of a 
Reader, but given to drink." He called upon 
Franklin in the evening to talk matters over. 
He disapproved of Franklin's determination to 
return to Boston, and suggested that they set up a 
partnership together, saying that his father would 
furnish the necessary capital as an offset to Frank- 
lin's knowledge of printing, on a basis of an equal 
distribution of the profits. The father being in 
town, a further consultation was held, with a 
result that an inventory of a printing shop was 
given to a merchant with instructions to send it to 
London to be filled. 

Firm of Franklm and Meredith, 6i 

Franklin applied to Andrew Bradford for work, 
but was told there was none for him. After re- 
maining idle a few days, Keimer, having in prospect 
an opportunity to secure the printing of the paper 
money of the Province of New Jersey, sent a civil 
message to Franklin, with the result that he re- 
turned to Keimer's employment. The New Jersey 
order was obtained, Franklin constructed a copper- 
plate press on which to print the money, cut orna- 
ments for use in the design of the paper bills, and 
went to Burlington, then the capital of New Jersey, 
where he remained three months. 

The one-story building which he fitted up as a 
printshop in Burlington has been preserved as a 
museum by a patriotic society because of his early 
connection with it. During his stay in Burlington 
he made many influential friends among the lead- 
ing men of the capital, who rendered valuable as- 
sivStance to him when he later went into business 
for himself. 

C H A p. V I I I. 

The New Firm of Franklin and Meredith, 

npHE outfit ordered from London arrived at 

about the time Franklin finished the work for 

which he went to Burlington for Keimer, and also 

at about the expiration of the period for which 

62 Firm of Franklin and Meredith. 

Hugh Meredith was bound to Keimer. Mere- 
-dith's father advanced one hundred pounds, one 
half the money required, with a promise of the 
remainder at an early date. They rented a house 
in the lower part of Market Street at twenty-four 
pounds a year and sub-let the greater part of it to 
Thomas Godfrey, with whom Franklin took lodg- 
ings. Godfrey used his portion of the house for 
the living quarters of his family and to accommo- 
date his own business, which was that of a glazier. 

A countryman walking along the street and look- 
ing for a printer was the first customer, having 
been brought in by one of Franklin's friends. 
"This man's five fhillings," says Franklin, "being 
our firft fruits, and coming so feafonably, gave me 
more pleafure than any crown I have fmce earned." 

The second order was to print forty sheets of a 
work entitled "The History of the Rise, Increase 
and Progress of the Christian People Called Quak- 
ers." Keimer had undertaken it, but had failed to 
complete it in time. Giving an estimated price 
on the work, Franklin did what printers have been 
known to do before and since, quoted too low. 
When that fact became apparent he resolved that 
the only course to follow would be to produce one 
sheet every day, and so, even when interrupted 
by other work, he would finish the sheet before 
going to bed, and to do this he was obliged often 
to work until eleven o'clock at night. He did the 



O R Y 


Rise, Increase, 

and Progress, 



Intermiied with Scvcnl 

Remarkable Occurrences. 

Written Originally in LOW-DUTCH, andalfo Tnui- 
flatej into ENGL I S H, 

By Willi AM' Sbw EL. 



Frioted aad Sold hj SAMUEL KEIMER ia SxoaJ SrrMt. 


This work was begun by Samuel Keimer in 1725 and finished 
in 1728 with the assistance of the new firm of Frankhn and 
Meredith, being their first large order. Original in the Typogra- 
phic Library and Museum of the American Type Founders 
Company, Jersey City, N. J. Size Sts" x ioiV". 

64 Firm of Franklin and Meredith, 
type composition and Meredith the presswork. 
One night just as a form of two pages had been 
completed it was pied, but true to his resolution 
he set to work and did not leave the printing office 
until the pi had been distributed and the page set 
up again and printed. 

The new firm made a favorable impression, 
one reason being the superior quality of its work. 
Franklin knev/ how to set type correctly, how to 
operate and keep a press in order, and how to get 
good effects upon it. Neither Bradford nor Kei- 
mer was noted for the excellence of his printing, 
thus giving an opening to the young printers, of 
which they were quick to take advantage. 

A notable instance was in connection with the 
public printing. Bradford was postmaster and 
printer of the laws and other public documents. 
On one occasion he printed an address of the House 
to the Governor in a coarse, blundering manner. 
Franklin and Meredith reprinted it correctly and 
in good style, and sent a copy to every member of 
the House. " They were fenfible of the difference," 
Franklin says; "it ftrengthened the hands of our 
friends in the Houfe, and they voted us their 
printers for the year enfuing." 

A difficulty soon presented itself to Franklin 
and Meredith in the shape of a demand from the 
merchant who had brought their outfit from London 
for the payment of the second half of the purchase 

Firm of Franklin and Meredith. 65 

price. After some discussion, Meredith, who had 
come to the conclusion that he never would be 
successful as a printer, offered to withdraw from 
the firm on the following terms as stated to his 
partner: *'If you will take the debts of the com- 
pany upon you, return to my father the hundred 
pounds he has advanced, pay my little perfonal 
debts and give me thirty pounds and a new faddle, 
I will relinquifh the partnerfhip. and leave the 
whole in your hands/' 

Two of Franklin's personal friends came for- 
ward with an offer of the money required to pay 
off the whole sum due, which offer was accepted 
and the title of the firm was changed to read: 
"B.Franklin, Printer." 

The interest of his powerful friend Andrew Ham- 
ilton, whose acquaintance was made at the begin- 
ning of the voyage to England two or three years 
before, which voyage, however, Mr. Hamilton at 
the last moment was prevented from making, now 
obtained the printing of the Newcastle paper money 
and the laws of that government, which patronage 
Franklin retained as long as he continued in busi- 

The affairs of B. Franklin, Printer, continued to 
prosper. In 1729, Samuel Keimer went into 
bankruptcy, sold his printing office, and retired 
to Barbadoes. One of his apprentices, David 
Harry, bought the materials and set up in his place. 

66 Firm of Franklin and Meredith, 

He had many friends and Franklin, fearing his 
competition, proposed a partnership, which, fortu- 
nately for him, Harry rejected. He neglected his 
business, however, and soon followed Keimer to 
Barbadoes, taking the printing outfit with him. 
This left Franklin with but a single rival for the 
patronage of Philadelphia, Andrew Bradford, who 
gave more attention to the post office than he did 
to his printing office and proved therefore not an 
aggressive competitor. 

Franklin now began to think of marriage. His 
landlady interested herself in the matter and what 
happened may perhaps be best expressed in his 
own words: 

"Mrs. Godfrey projecl'd a Match for me with 
a relation's Daughter, took opportunities of bring- 
ing us often together, till a ferious Courtfhip 
on my part enfu'd, the Girl being in herfelf 
very deferving. The old Folks encourag'd me by 
continual Invitations to Supper, and by leaving us 
together, till at length it was Time to explain. 
Mrs. Godfrey manag'd our little Treaty. I let 
her know that I expedl'd as much Money with their 
Daughter as would pay off my remaining Debt 
for the Printing-Houfe, which I believe was not 
then above a hundred Pounds. She brought me 
word they had no fuch fum to fpare. I faid they 
might mortgage their Houfe in the Loan-Office. 
The anfwer to this, after fome Days, was that they 
did not approve the Match; that, on inquiry of 
Bradford, they had been inform'd the Printing 

Firm of Franklin and Meredith. 67 

Bufinefs was not a profitable one; the Types would 
foon be worn out, and more want'd; that S. Keimer 
and D. Harry had fail'd one after the other and I 
fhould probably foon follow them; and therefore I 
wasforbidden the Houfe, and the Daughter fliut up." 

Franklin was In doubt as to whether this action 
expressed the real sentiments of the young woman's 
family, or whether it was a device to prompt them 
to contract a runaway marriage, which would put 
the family in the position of providing a dowry or 
not, as they chose. He resolved to give no further 
consideration to the matter, whereupon Mrs. God- 
frey renewed the overtures. He held to his decision 
and as a result there was a falling out between him 
and the Godfreys, who removed from the house, 
which he then decided to retain wholly for his own use. 

"But," says he, ''this affair having turn'd my 
Thoughts to Marriage, I look'd round me and 
made overtures of Acquaintance in other Places; 
but foon found that, the Bufmess of a Printer 
being generally thought a poor One, I was not to 
expecl; Money with a Wife, unlefs with fuch a One 
as I fhould not otherwdfe think agreeable." 

He renewed his acquaintance with Miss Deborah 
Read and on September i, 1730, they were married. 
Of this marriage Franklin said: "She proved a 
good and faithful helpmate, afTifted me much by at- 
tending the Shop ; we ftrove together, and have ever 
mutually endeavor'd to make each other happy." 



Publisher and Bookseller, 


F A Philadelphian in 1728," says James Par- 
ton, "had been asked to name the business 
by which, in Philadelphia, a stranger could make a 
fortune in twenty years, the business of a printer 
would have been among the very last to occur to 
him. There was no good book-store south of 
Boston, it is true, but also there was no general 
regard for books south of Boston. Except Mr. 
James Logan, who had a superb library, and per- 
haps three or four persons besides, there was no 
one in Philadelphia who had the true passion for 
books, until our young printer infused it into them. 
Franklin, like poets that Wordsworth speaks of, 
had to create the taste by gratifying which he 
was to thrive. Almanacs, hymn-books, low-priced 
books of religious controversy, and very rudi- 
mental school-books, were the staple commodities 
of the Philadelphia book-store in the olden time. 
It was not safe to publish any book higher than 
eighteen pence, except by subscription. Of the 
books published in the Colonies before the Revolu- 
tion, nine tenths, at least, appear to have been 
sold at less than eighteen pence. The whole busi- 
ness of printing was trivial, and could be made 
profitable only by prosecuting successfully a great 
number of petty projects." 

Publishe)' and Bookseller, 69 

Although FrankHn and Meredith began to print 
in 1728, the first issue of their press hsted by 
Charles R. Hildeburn in his remarkably complete 
work, "A Century of Printing; The Issues of the 
Press in Pennsylvania," is "A Modefl: Inquiry 
into the Nature and NecefTity of a Paper Currency, 
Print'd and Sold at the New Printing Office near 
the Market, 1729." Seven other publications 
are ascribed to Franklin and Meredith for that 
year, two of which do not show their imprint, but 
are known to be from their press. 

One pamphlet bearing their imprint was not 
printed by them. It is entitled "A Touch of the 
Times,'* and was written and printed by Keimer 
as an answer to an article in the "Mercury" 
which he considered to be aimed at himself, and 
wrongfully ascribed on the title page to the "New 
Printing Office." It brought forth the following 
advertisement in the "Mercury" dated April 
24, 1729: 

THIS may inform thofe that have been 
induc'd to think otherwife, That the filly 
Paper, call'd a Touch of the Times, Uc. was Wrote, 
Print'd and Publifh'd by Mr. Keimer; and that 
his putting the words New Printing Office at the 
Bottom, and inftructing the Hawkers to fay it was 
done there is an Abufe." 

Franklin's publication of the "Pennfylvania Ga- 
zette" began in 1729, and "Poor Richard's Alma- 

t). Sofl icb in Sufem yammirthat 
Nochlangerin armathkt'tn, 

So hcffkh dochy Gott wird mir dori 
Ein hejj'ere fVohtiuftg gebtn 


Nsclidjm die Fricdens und Ktiegs-affairen lo 
Europa eipc geraumc xcit her auf cincn febr 
wanckslbah.-en £ufs gtftaiidcn, und man einige 
Jaliie allcaeit in den ivaffca ftehend dcncii Ftie-^ 
cens-handlungcn obgclcgen, lb hat deich endlicli 
QCtKurig von Giofs Biittanien, durch dcaihjn. 
beywolincndcn Eiffet dss befte ftint' Untertba- 
nen Z\x bcvordercn , die Iciite hand aiis wcrck 
gejchlagen, und durch eioeu T»aftast , welcheii 
cr dea i(J. Menr vtrwschenen Jahi«s lu Wien 
tnit dfln Ksyfer ecmycher, 4cn"Ffi£derfund die 
Ruhc^ EumTraBcfeiiHget-; Zu dielem Tra£lsa6 
jft Spnitn.nncl Ho!!aniiueh gitreten': Franc|c.- 
iSlcb allc.'S ic-beini^t darsibcr fcUr unvergnflgt ^^ 
Feyn. Und vt-eil dei Jleyfer und Engeland fich 
riarinnen verpflic'im dtn Infant van Spanicn titr. 
Carlo?, sis Erb-^rint/. d« HcrtiogthiJmef Tof- 
canajipjl Pasniamit focio Mann Spanifche Trou- 
(cx>lnli^Mtn djDyifuhK'n. , lb ha; diefcm znfol- 
gc dev K&Jg von Epgclsad cine Efquader uif- 
Kf dem AdmTml Wagcf nach Baftelgiia gcichi-" 
-tct , <idi alda lU dcr Spranilchcn Fl6tte iu £!♦ 
gen nnd die 6000. -Spaniets nach Livomo'vu 
rrasispflrtirert, wcfcfis IntfcduQion anch.gWck^ 
hell vot fich gcgangfn, -pud anlafi gegebcn ia 
efner Anrsde dcs K8m^s am 15. Jan-andiefecy- 
tlf HSnftr des Parfoftients, welchewir wegen en- 
ge des raunis auf eiiic andeie Gelegcnheit verfpa* 

La-Jn ie« 19. ytffl. Verwtchenen MittwocJi a- 
tiends UB1 9 ubr, gab der GraiT Bothmar-, ciilbr 
^fini(^er det HajjnovenTchcn aflaircn, in (cictrfi 
Hauff jn S. ^^ines Park, nach ei-ier laag gewfihr- 
tav •jnpalilicljiejt, defZeitlichlfcit pate nacht 
Hr hac iiber lo . Jahr in Engeland gewohncc. 
Scin-tcichnam foU balfcmitcr, nach Hannovcs 
j;eb:acht und bey. fejncn Voreltetivww Endenbe- 
Ihftet weiden. 

ZitTtect dea 5. Feb.' 'In dnem Schreibcn von 
Barcelona wird gcnieldet, dafs voi 2 TagcU an 
die dafigen Interidantet ordrc gekommcn, eine 
Armec vot) ;aocor M 'Un fedig zu h^fen, ufid 
■p.otKjge anftalrca machen, dafi felbiBe den "45. 
Merjt nebft allei da«u gehijii^en Artillerie ton- 
Jic eii)ge{chifr« werden doch weifs.roch nie- 
niand worauf diclesmochte angefthen feyn. 

PinLADELPHlA. ^. Mey. 
Von Manila's Vineyard hat cian^ dfjbdie vf. 
dniger «je ailda sngekommcne PfaUses wei' 
chc auf ibics langen rciie von RoHetdam fo fibel 
find bchandek wciden, mlt Capitain Loyd ac« 
coidirec habea Re hicher rji (Sbita, vnd weidea 
nunmchro tSglich ci wartet. 
r Von Engeland wild bcfeftiget, dafs det Pro- 
prietordielen FrKhliognoch inet ai;!f,mnien wcr» 
de, such daft et alsAina vV<3bIgcods dem Ver- 

Eieich roir Mylord Balticvoregeuo&njdieLinie 
lofFch laiTcn wolle. 

Am v*michenen SoniKag tsaclimittage untet 
wiihrcndem Gotteidisnft eojlhiL-.d hier ea> h^&i- 
gctbranri^in Mr BsdcScka-Btadrhaufe. Ein jc* 
dcr lia silendi avsCzt Ki'chea, utsd faud fich 
eine giofle e-.eage Vrfcks bej d«m Feuet, doch 
kontc da>Ge'i>Si niclit Crretief Krcrden, V/enc 
iS des nachciaa^ebiochen.oder das WaJTernichr 
eben hocb in dem graben gewclen w3rc, foltc 
en viel gr^iTcrei icijHde defaas-haben kSnnea 
eiirRehen, weiltKa Flamme iihon veiichcidene 
endere HaufefergfiSin. Die Biandipriifzen tha- 
ten bey ditfei Gekgsinlieit gtode dicnfte, und je» 
derman ■war wiiiig aa helfiin, dergeitak, dafs das 
Wohntiaufg- ooch, ' wi:wohl nicht ohne IchadeOj 
ift crfettet wOrdcn. 

Ve^ngeneWodlie hat es Cch beaeb«n,da6-ey 
ew Fraa-, welche einige teit euvor fehr meSaucho- 
iuch gcweiibn, in einem Sloop das Kivier hinab 
gsfaliren, und die Gelegcnheit wahrgenoniniers, 
vpenn niemani in det Crtb!n;<R-ar, eine Flinte gs- 
noirmen und an dea fpringet desHahnjetn ftrick 
gebundeti, dai Mnndlcch imttr die Braft gdiei- 
Ict und fich alfo felbft erlchofien, dafs dei Schuis 
linten ncbcn der Sciiulier heraus gangen, und fi«> 
wetiige fiunden hemacTi dflrangcHCfben. 

Brig. Warren, The Ramfty, voft Duhiin. 
Snow Lovely Haiinah, JWilco<:ksi»on Antigiu. 
Sloop Dove, John Rice, wn South Carolina. 
Sloop Johns, Abt Hayes, "von North Carolina. 
Sliip Diamond, Will. Donaldibn, ven Briftol. 
Snow Mary Ann, Lab Pearce, von S Chfiftophet. 
Pre:/) foSgenier GiUer. Weittea d« Bufehel S 
iclul! 6. pence. Fein Mehl, der Centner 8 fch. 
Miitel Brod 12. ich. gemengt, 10. fth. braun, 
9 (ph. Rum, ein Gallon 2. (ch. 4. p. Mclafie^ 
16. p. 


C'^TJtcr rother K-Icber-Saamen vor hi!'- 
T Iktien prtifi zu khmmex hiy George Fitzwarer, 
in (ttrA^arckfirafs, Philadelphia. 

1>HILADEL1>HJA • Gedruckt bey B.Framklin in dcr Marck-llrafs, wp 
di«fe ZcituDgea zu bckommea und BcKandtmachungeii in b ficUen »uid^ 

Fourth page of Franklin's German newspaper. 

^( No. I H^ 

FhiladelpUjche Zeitung. 

SAMBSTAG, ckn-6 Mey. 1732. 

^n alk ttutfche Eiffcvchner dtr '^raviiitz 

NACHDEM ich von verfchic- 
dencn teutfthcn Einwohncrh 
dicfes Laivics bin crfuchct 
wordcDjCinc teutfche Zeitung 
aasgehen z.u laflen, uad ihnen darionen 
das vomehmftc und merckwiirdigfte 
ocues, lb hier und in Europa vorfallcn 
mochte, zu commaniciren ; doch abcr 
hierzu viclc muhc, grolFe corrcfpon- 
dcntzundauchUnkoften erfordcrt wcr 
den ; Als habc mich cndt^hloflen, dc- 
rcn teutfchca zo lieb gegenwarcigcs 
Specimen davon hePius lu gcben, und 
ihnen dabcy die Conditioncs welchc 
nothwendigzudcr continuation derfd- 

Erftlich, inuftcn 7a3m wcnigden, urn 
die unkoftcndicdaraut'Iauffcn, gut zu 
rnachcn, 300 ftiicks konncn gedruckt 
und dcbitiret werdcn, und miifte injc- 
der Townfhip dazu ein mann aosge- 
ic, wie viel Z<c5tungen jcdes rr.ahl an tbn 
miiften gefandt werden, und dor fie dan 
weitcj-scinenjeglichen zultellen und die 
bezahlang davor cinfordern miifte. 

Vor jedc Zeitung mofs jahrlich 10 
Shiliiflgc crleget, uflddavon allcquar- 
tal alh. 6d. bezahlet werdcn. 

Dagegen verfprechc ich auf mciner 
fcitc, dutch gute Corfcfpondciifrz die 
ich in Holland und England habc alle- 
zcitdas merkwiirdigfle undncueflc fo 
ISO Europa und auch bier pifliret, alle 

wocnc cinpiahl, ncmlich ScnnaECndsTa 
gcgcnwartigcr form ciner Zeitung, 
nebil dcnen fchlffcn fo hier abgchcn 
und ankotnmcn, unJ auch das tlrigca 
odcf fallen des frcifles dcrQurer, uni 
was fonll zu wilTcn dicnlieb bckandC 
zn machen. 

Advertincmente oder Bckant nia- 
chungen, welchc man an micl»fchickcit 
mochte, follen das crfte mahl vcr.3 fhilf. 
3 mahl aber vor 5 fhih hinein gefeczec 

Und weil ich imtzlich eracKte did 
gantzc bcfchrcibang dcr aufriehtung 
dieferprovintz,niit alien dcrfclbcnpfif 
vilcgicn,.rcchtcn nndgderzen, bey cr^r 
mangelung gcnugfamer Neuigkciten, 
dariiTeE bckandt zu machcn; foltc njchc 
undienlicb feyn. dafs ein jeder, zumahl 
wcr kinder hat, diefc Zicitungcn wchl 
bcwah^e, und am endc des jahrcs an 
einander heffte ; zumahl da folchc danii 
glcichfam als eine Chronica dicnen kon- 
ncn. die vorigen Gcfchtchte darauszu 
erfchen, und die folgcndc" dcfto bcflcr 
zu verftchen. 

Auch wird aabcy zu bedenckea gc 
gebcn, ob cs nicht rahtfam^ ware, ia 
jeder groirenTownfliipeinen rcitenden 
Boten zu bcftcUeD, welchcr alicwoche 
cinmahl nach der fladt reiten und was 
ein jeder da zu bcftcllen hat, mit nch- 
ruen konne 

So bald nun die obgcmeldtc ai tab! 
der Uiiterlchreibcr vorhanden, welchc 
fo bald als moglich erfuche in Phila- 

Title page of the first number of Franklin's German newspaper. 
Size 55" X 8". 

72 Publisher and Bookseller* 

nack" was'established in 1732. Each will be dealt 
with at length in separate chapters. 

The issues of Franklin's press, exclusive of the 
"Pennsylvania Gazette," "Poor Richard's Alma- 
nack," the "Philadelphifche Zeitung," and the 
"General Magazine," between the years 1729 and 
1748, in which latter year the active management of 
the printing office was turned over to David Hall, 
numbered more than seven hundred, in which is 
included everything from a single sheet to preten- 
tious volumes of several hundred pages each. 

Early in 1741 Franklin began the publication 
of "The General Magazine and Hiftorical Chronicle 
for all the Britifh Plantations in America, to be 
Continu'd Monthly." A part of the announce- 
ment of the new magazine in the " Pennsylvania 
Gazette " was to this effect : 

"We defire no fubfcriptions. We fhall publifh 
the Books at our own Expenfe, and rifk the fale 
of them, which Method, we fuppofe, will be moft 
agreeable to our Readers, as they will then be at 
Liberty to buy only what they like, and we fliall 
be under the conftant NeceiTity of endeavoring 
to make every particular Pamphlet worth their 

The "General Magazine" came out late in the 
month and followed by three days the publication 
by Andrew Bradford of the first number of "The 
American Magazine or a Monthly View of the 

I A New Verfion | 


|P S A L M S| 

Id AFi D.i 

g Fitted to the T U N E S Ufed g 


g i 

I ^^ . g 

® N^ £raJ/, D. D. Chaplain in Ordinary, ^ 
§ and N. *7«/tf, Efq; Poet Laurcar to His 2 


9 Printed and Sold by B. F R A N K L I N, § 
at the New Printing-Ofiicc, near the «S 
Market. Sold alfo by A. Bradford, at C 
the Bible in Second-Street. 1755. ^ 3 

The seventh edition of this work, printed in 1729, was the first 
important production of Franklin's press. In speaking of the 
deplorable tendency of people to prefer light literature he 
said: ".'\n impression of the Psalms of David had been upon 
my shelves for above two years," yet he had " known a large 
impression of Robin Hood's Songs to go off in a twelvemonth." 
Original in the possession of the Curtis Publishing Company, 
Philadelphia. Size 2^" x 4I". 

C A T O's 



EtigUJhed in Couplets. 

Printed and Sold by B. F R A N K L I N, 17 35- 

Franklin's first reprint of a classic. He said "The Cato Major" (1744) was 
"the first translation of a classic in the Western World," forgetting this 
edition of the "Moral Distichs" and Samuel Keimer's publication in 1729 
of" Epictetus his Morals." Original in the possession of the Curtis Publish- 
ing Company, Philadelphia. Size 4" x 6". 










Printed »od Sold by R FRANKLIN, »t the New Printing-Offict 

fieir the MukeL MJ>CC^XXVn. 

First issue of the Indian Treaties. 

Original in the possession of the Curtis Publishing Company, Philadelphia. 


The. American Magazi'ne.- 

O K 


Tk. Political State 


For FEBRUARY, 17^0-1. 

(To be ConlinuSd Monthly) 


I. eontinuation of theRE»rA»Kj 

Ml the Marxlamo Govern- 

n. PtocKXDiNci intheAflem- 

bly of that Province. 
lII.,PiocBBDiNcs of the Af- 
^fembly of Penmsvlvania, 
' ■ in Relation to the inlifting ofl 

IV. Procerdinci of the Af- 

fembly of Nsw-Yo,ri£, rc-l 

fpefting the King's Inflrufti- 
ons to make Provifions for the 
Troops, direfted to be raifed 
V AnAccoONT oftheSPERCH- 
Ks in Aflcmbly of hii Excel- 
lency the Governor of Nkw- 

VI. The P»kjKnt State of 
the WAR. 

VII. The Affaixj ofEt/Rofe 

PfilLJDELPfjfJi Printed and Sold by Anorh w B»adfo«d: 
(Price One Shilllnp; Penrfyhania Currency, or Ei;.-,Ir Pence St,r!frg ) 

Title page of the second number of "The American Magazine." From the 
file in the possession of the New York Historical Society, the only copies 
known to be in existence. The title page of the first number is missing. 
Size 2\l" X 6|". 


General Magazine, 


Hijiorical Chronicle, 

For all the Britijh Plantations in AmtrUt, 
[To be Continued Monthly.] 

JANUARY, I 7 4 I. 


w:«^ „j s„U ♦„, R. FR ANKLIN. 

Title page of the "General Magazine," the second magazine 
established in the Colonies. It bears the coronet of the 
Prince of Wales, of Hanoverian ancestry, which accounts for 
the German motto. Original in the Ridgway Branch of the 
Philadelphia Public Library. Size 2|" x 6", 

78 Publisher and Bookseller, 

Political State of the Britifh Colonies." The 
publication of the two magazines had been pre- 
ceded by a wordy dispute in the newspapers be- 
tween Franklin and John Webbe, the editor of 
the "American Magazine." Franklin claimed 
that the idea of publishing a magazine in the Amer- 
ican Colonies originated with him and that he had 
concluded with Webbe an agreement to edit it, 
but that Webbe had broken faith, and had be- 
trayed Frankhn by laying the plan before Bradford 
and inducing him to enter into an agreement on 
better terms than those arranged for with Franklin. 

On the title page of the "General Magazine" 
appeared a wood cut reproduction of the Prince 
of Wales' coronet with three plumes and the motto 
"Ich dien." The contents consisted of theological 
controversy, proceedings of Parliament, governors* 
speeches, and extracts from books, very little of 
the matter being original, and practically none of 
it of the interesting character of that to be found 
in the "Gazette" and " Poor Richard's Almanack." 
The information was useful, but not calculated to 
attract a wide circle of readers. 

The magazine edited by Webbe and issued by 
Bradford lasted three months. Of Franklin's 
"General Magazine" six of the monthly numbers 
were published. It contained sixty pages, 2| x 
si inches in size, and was set in type corresponding 
to modern six point and ten point solid. Only 



O F 




Near 600 Volumes, In moft Faculties 
and Sciences, viz. 

Divinity, History, Law, Ma- 
thematics, Philosophy, Phy- 
sic, Poetry^ Gfr. 

Which will begirt" 

To BE SOLD for Ready Money only, by Ben J. 
Franklin, at the Poji-O£{ce m Philadelphia, 
on Wednefday, the 1 ith. of April ly^. at Nine 
a Clock in the Moming ; And, for Dilpatch, the 
loweft Price is niark'd in each Book. 

The Sale to continue Three Weeks, and no longer ; 
and what then remains will be fold at an advanced 

Thofe Perfons that live remote, by fending their 
Orders and Money to faid B. Franklin, jnay 
<iefend on the fame Juftice as if prefent. 

Announcing a sale of books. 

Original in the possession of the Curtis Publishing Company, Philadelphia 

Size 2 1" X 5". 



Mr. George Whtiefield, 

T O 

Mr. "John We (ley, 





Gal. IL rr. 
&> when Peter ixias come to Aniioch^ / vjtthjlood fiini 
it thi Facei iccaufe he mat t,o be blanudt 

P H ir. A DE L P H I Ai 
ftiflWfcasd ^M-hy B. Franklin, M,DCC,XLr, 

Title page that is interesting because showing a typographical 
error, from which Benjamin Franklin's Voric was usually singularly 
free. Original in Ridgway Branch of the Philadelphia Public 
Library. Size 3i" x sf". 

Publisher and Bookseller. 8i 

one advertisement gladdened its short life, appearing 
in small type at the bottom of the last page in the 
fifth and sixth numbers. Since it is the first Amer- 
ican magazine advertisement, it is here reproduced: 

THere is a F E R R Y kept over Poto- 
mac^ {by the Subfcriber) being the Pvft Road 
and much the nighejt way from Annapolis to JVill- 
iamjburg, where all Gentlemen may depend on a 
ready Pajfage in a good new Boat with able Hands 
Richard Brett, Deputy-Po/t-M after at Potomack. 

Another publication venture of Franklin's was 
announced as the "Philadelphifche Zeitung, or 
Newfpaper in High-Dutch, which will continue 
to be publiflied on Saturdays once a Fortnight, 
ready to be deliver'd at Ten a Clock, to Country 
Subfcribers." The editor was Louis Timothee, 
"language master." 

Although Franklin relates in the "Autobiog- 
raphy" his early business ventures in considerable 
detail, he makes no mention of either the "General 
Magazine " or the " Philadelphifche Zeitung." 

"Though the bulk of the issues of Franklin's 
press are of little moment," says Paul Leicester 
Ford, "there can be no doubt that as a whole they 
contain more of genuine merit than those of any 
printer of the same or previous periods in the 
Colonies, the amount of doctrinal and polemical 
theology being a minimum, and bearing a less 
proportion to the whole mass that can be found 





Of the Province of 


Now IN Force. 

Publijhed by Order of ASSEMBLY 


Printed and Sold by B. FRANKLIN. 


Franklin excelled in title pages, of which this is a fine example. 
Original in the Typographic Library and Museum of the American 
Type Founders Company, Jersey City, N. J. Size 4f " x 8f". 



Of the Printer's Lad, 
who carrrieth a- 
bout the ^envfyl- 
vania GJZETTE, 
to the Cuftomerj 

yan. I. 1741. 

IpUtS^ Y Labour's done for one unreckon'd year, 
sTj^ p And to account, kind S I R, I now appear. 
Mmn^ 'Twould give Offence, could I the News rcliearic", 
JltsS^iywK -pt attempt it all, here, in my fcanty Vcrfc ; 
Bat if th' important Parts are nani'd again 
That ftrike the Paffions and infpire the Pen, 
Thp' Grief, and Joy, and Anger, thofe may wife, 
And fome defcrve Reproach, and others Praifc l 
Such Parts, by Cuftom due, ye will expcft ; 
And fuch will make the noble Mind rcflcA. 

C»o p../r-». <^n1<* T^inffcr nn/J her P«w''- • 

Heading of "The Yearly Verses of the Printer's Lad." 
Original in the possession of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 
Size 3" X Ill's". 

84 Publisher and Bookseller, 

in the books of contemporary American printers. 
In the earhest years of the venture he took the 
risk of printing two Httle volumes of American 
poetry, as well as reprinting other verses of Euro- 
pean origin. In 1741 he pubHshed the earliest 
American medical treatise, Colden's 'Essay on 
the Iliac Passion/ and four years later the second 
Cadwalader's 'Essay on the West India Dry 
Gripes.' From his press came the first two pamph- 
lets against slavery. In 1744 he reprinted Rich- 
ardson's ' Pamela,' the first novel printed in Amer- 
ica. Despite his personal disregard of the classics, 
he printed as early as 1735, James Logan's Trans- 
lation of Cato's 'Moral Distichs,' the first Latin 
work to be both translated and printed in America." 

Franklin's printing and bookmaking were of a 
higher grade than those of his contemporaries. 
His type arrangements, particularly of title pages, 
demonstrate skill, and his presswork as a rule, 
although it does not measure up to modern stand- 
ards, is good. The book he regarded as his me- 
chanical masterpiece was the "Cato Major." 

A feature of his work which impresses one is its 
freedom from typographical errors, although they 
did occasionally occur. One is to be noted in the 
title page shown on page 80 and the date lines of 
the issues of the "Pennfylvania Gazette" occasion- 
ally were not changed from the issues of the pre- 
vious week. However, he was able to turn even 






With Explanatory NOTES. 


Printed and Sold by B. FRANKLIN, 

Title page of the book Franklin is said to have regarded as the best 
specimen of his book printing. Original in the possession of the 
Curtis Publishing Company, Philadelphia. Size 3!" x 6|". 

( vill ) 



TD.r.1 Mater 
X Ifccratn 


/!oM(7» Tuntrah 


28 54 



Junius l^rutiis 




Jl_/ Lalius fliit/ Scipio 


V, > Si.m-:ifct 


10 12 

Scipio . W Lilius 

10 12 

Lepidus iXImiliuj 


Scipio'i 2 Drorh.ri 


Livius Androiiicus 


Scipio Cn. y P. Com. 

63 14+ 

LWy't zil Dicti,i 


Scipio Nafica ' 

40 97 

Lucius FlamL:iu9 




Sextus /Emiliu; 


T\ A^Ancinus Caius 
IVi Marce]lusM.a. 




144 '46 


47 5' 


39 7« 


57 «^3 

Metellus C. 

64. 119 


4$ 55 

Milo c/Croton 






.Statius Crcciliu9 


Moibif of tbt Cods 



45 46 

"^vTvtvius Cneins 
X >l Numantia 

41 102 


Strength ofSidct 
Sun/or Icgii 

Superjlithu of the Ronutni 


tr\ U-Jze in Commtneemnit 



TJAulus iEmilius 


' \ ^Aretitum. 
X Tarteffus 


jr Plato 

47 5° 


Plato's Phi3on 




Plautus M. Accius 




P'inilratus tUe Tyrant 

'33 '35 

Terence's AddpHi 


Ponli/i.x MaxwDit 


Terintius 0. Varro 


I'oAtius the dntiii'ion 




Pontius the Samniu^ 


Tims P. Atticus. 


i'ofthumins Spurhis 


..... Q. Flaiftinius 

3 4 

Pro-tor' J Off.M 


..... Coruncaniu» 

H 35 

Pyrrhus 24 3$ 88 

Troubles ofKcmi 
Torpio Ambivitu 





r^JJaJltrU Offct 


T TAIetius Gorvinu* 
V Voconian i«w 


T> %ilte M. Atil. tj9 

JtV Romans 'wkoj'to/a'vtibeir 

^^■Antluppo* 140 
^i^ XciiQptioaV§/inpo£ani 98 

Country, expo/eJ themfel'uettt 


It fcrtain Dtatb' 

»i& 147 


48 $1 


Index page from the "Cato Major." 


T H E 


Of M. Tullitis Cicero, 

O R 




(i) Titus POiMPONius Atticus. 

■ < 

C H A P. I. 

MW'^M^'^y Titus, if fome fovenign 
^ ^, (ff^^ Balm I find 
^ [l5 Tq footh your Cares y and calm 
M^HJM y^^^ ruffled Mindy 
Shajit I deje-fx-e a Fee P 

A For 


(i) tiius Pomponius Jlticiis, to wliom this Difcoiirfi'. 
is addrcfs'd, was of an ancient Family of Romt, otilio 
Kqueflrian Order, the fecond in Diijnity aiiKJiigll il;c 
Romans. Of all OVfri>'s Friends He appears to li.wc 


First reading page of "The Cato Major." 

[78 ] 
found Co in his Underftanding. I am 
now oil the ftvcnth Ki-kdU of my Orighies^ 
(59) wherein I am collcding all the Monu- 
ments of Antiquity of every kind. I am 
alfo making out thofe Orations, that 1 
formerly delivered in pleading the fcveral 
Caufes I defended. I am further treating 
of the Civil Law, .and of that of the Au- 
gurs and Pontifts. I read much Grceky 
and, agreeable to the Pythagorean Precept, 
the better to exercifc my Memory, I re- 
colled at Ni^ht what I have heard, faid 
or done in the Day. Thefe are the Me- 
tJiods I purfuc to keep mv Mind employed; 
and while with a conftant and affiduous 
Application I continue thefe Exercifes, I 
c^n6t fay 1 am fenfible of any Want of 
Strength. I am ftill able to 
Friends ; I come duly to the Senate, and 
there propofc fuch Matters of Weight, as I 


(59) CaU''% Origines 3 Work much eftcemed by 
the ikoni.uis, but is loft to us. C Ntpos informs us, 
tfuit its firft Book contained the Aftjons of the People ot 
K*mt^ (probably to the Time of tfje firjl Punic or Car- 
tha^inkft War) the ad and 3d gave the Origin tit firft 
Rife of all die Cities of Italy ; the 4th was the HiAor>' 
of the firft Punic War*, the 5th gave the fccond, \s\\\c\\ 
wg$ in'to own TiHit j In the tollowing he rciateil th.u 


!■ acing pages showing type arrangement of "The Cato Major." 

[ 79 ] 

ihavc long pondered and digcfted ; and I 
fupport what I {iropofc with Arguments, 
to which bodilv Strength can. contribute 
nothing. And if for want of a Coitjpetcnt 
Share of tliat Strengtii, I ilioiild be -rende- 
red uncapabic of all this; yet I couldpleafc 
myfelf, even on my Couch, with running 
them over in my Thoughts. And whocvcV 
will purfue the fame Methods, and pradifc 
thus, will fcarce be fenfible of the Advan- 
ces of Old-Age, but gradually Aiding on, 
and infenftbly decaying, without any fuddcn 
Changes, will at lad drop like ripe Fruit, 
or go off hke an expiring Light. 

']pHE third Charge againft Old-Age 
was, That it is (they fay) infcnfiblc 
ta Pleafure, and the Enjoyments ariflng 
from the Gratifications of the Scnfcs. And 
amoft bleffed and heavenly Effedl it truly 
IS, if it eafes of what in Youth was the 


**^ Wars» till the" C^iqUeft of Ltf/it'aHia, now P'cHu^ 
f«Vi wfijch I judgtf to have been the Conqueft mention'^ 
W^^iiikj^ue.'ii: for v/liich L. Pojibumius triumphed 
r***^<3 Years before tliis Difcourfe j for I find Strgius 
u!I*?t ■^*°'" ^^^ Hames, no-\Vhcre nicntion'tl 4a i=»» 
"0W«> Acfc Wan. 

90 Publisher and Bookseller, 

errors into matters of general interest, as will be 
noted by the following statement from Poor Richard : 

"In my laft, a few faults efcap'd; fome belong 
to the Author, but moft to the Printer: Let each 
take his fhare of the Blame, confefs and amend for 
the future. . . . Printers indeed fliould be 
very careful how they omit a Figure or Letter; 
For by fuch Means Sometimes a terrible Alteration 
is Made in the Senfe. I have heard, that once, in a 
new edition of the ' Common Prayer,' the following 
Sentence, *We fliall all be chang'd in a Moment, in 
the Twinkling of an Eye,' by the Omiffion of a 
fmgle Letter, became, *We fhall all be hang'd in a 
Moment, ^c,' to the no fmall Surprize of the firft 
Congregation it was read to." 

In connection with the publishing enterprise 
was conducted a stationery store, as may be noted 
from the following advertisement from the "Ga- 

JUST import'd from London and to be 
fold by B. Franklin, at the Poft-Office, near 
the Market in Philadelphia. 

All forts of fine Paper, Parchment, Ink-powder, 
SeaHng Wax, Wafers, fountain Pens,' Ink and 
Sand GlalFes with Brafs Heads, Pounce, and 
Pounce Boxes, Curious, large Ivory Books and 
Common ditto, large and fmall flates, Gunters 
Scales, Dividers, Protactors, Pocket Compaffes, 
both large and fmall, fine Pewter Stands proper 
for Offices and Counting Houfes, fine Mezzotinto 
and grav'd Pictures of Mr. Whitefield. 

Where may be had great Variety of Bibles, 
Teftaments, Pfalters, Spelling Books, Primers, 
Hornbooks, and other forts of ftationery ware. 

. /a-.— 

Hill for printing rendered to Thomas Penn by Franklin, receipted by Mrs. Franklin. 
Original in the possession of the Curtis PublishinK Company, Philadelphia. 


j'^rrr,«iil^-y" ■ 

Bill for printing rendered to the Library Company by 
Franklin. Original in the possession of the American 
Philosophical Society, Philadelphia. 

'^t fu-'v /hwu^, y ^i.^ /"^rm. , tf^MS 7^ 1/3 ■/■^ //./2;^ 

vO^. /Su^A^; ejf^f- y<l^ Atvr-^ . . ^ //^ - '^' ^3 

Aoe /^<kJr -^— .f'/- ■ 'f:^.f 

ish m 4<^ //A dJ^,^?^^^^- '^'^^ ' ''■■>- 

^1 nu^L4^. H^ <^'^'"^. -3/73 " - • !!' .f f 

is-P Qi^^f^^,/-^^,»/A ■^'^ 

> V^i^^ . .. . . s^/. . ■■ . - • . . . . • 7-' '' 

(i la-ry^ cJ^ ^^^'^■^A^'^A^^'^ '/■■ • ■ ■ • - ■ ■3-S.'^ 

/,i Jtoftsi:^, Ji^y'^f-^''^- - -i,; - ^ '/ ■ i-o-o 

1^r»,TL3 ^llli'' . 2> 1/ ~ - ~ _ . '» iO 

f.r ^,-J^'^ a^^J^JGb 7>J/.. ... V . - . • l/:S-:0 
"' ^*^/ . - - . :d 4^ • ^ '^ " 

".(S^u:^, /^ii-^^ /r^/^^. £> i:/. - -A^/oo 

2 t^rj^ fUC:, ifj^^_ .i3>^^^>' . . _ ^.-tou> 

I o^tr '/l^ cJ^ ert^ ^ /Ia^ . . . ■/ :o:o 

'-^■T:^.^, , ^^XJ.^^A'c)!!^^;^^^ .... - - /:u.o 

/ ift /i»/^r/ .m'^/£'^^ ... _ - _ 

'1^ lff6^ /,r- 1^ ^y iP*/u^ a^/^o 

- - - 3:/o:o 

- S.a^o 

ZCfi-.U) :o 

Inventory by James Parker of the printing outfit owned by Franklin and 
Hall, made at the time of the dissolution of the partnership. Parker's 
comments are interesting. Original in the Typographic Library and 
Museum of the American Type Founders Company, Jersey City, N. J. 



383 Old Brevier, much worn, and worth little more than old 

metal, @ 8d. per lb 

282 Newer Brevier, 7 years worn, valued @ ^ per lb. 

663 Burgois, eight years worn, @ J4 

436 Long Primer, well worn @ i4 

318 Small Pica, almoft worn out @ lod 

421 Pica, Old, and much batter'd @ lod. .... 

334 Old Englifh, fit for little more than old metal @ 8}i 
502 Newer Englifh, nearly half-worn, @ % 

223 Great Primer, well worn @ 'A 

158 Double Pica, pretty good, @ % 

91 Double English Do. @ 'A 

70 Flowers @ 2 . . . 

S3 Figures, Planets, Space Rules, Black Letter, @ % . 

63 Large and Title Letter, fome old, fome good, @ i . 

40 Quotations, Juftifiers, etc., @ i 

3 Crooked Letters, @ I 

85 Cafes, fome, old and shatter'd @ 5 

13 Frames @ 8 

'S Chafes, fome large, fome fmall, @ 6 

16 Letter-Boards, only 10 of 'em good-for-any-thing 

3 Folio Gallies, 8 Quarto, and 7 small Do 

I Letter Rack and one Cafe Rack 

1 Lye-Trough, I Lye Tub, and one Wetting Trough 
6 Compofing Sticks, one of which good-for-nothing 

2 Impofing Stones, with their Stands 

1 Old Book-Prefs much fhatter'd 

16 Poles for drying Paper 

2 Mallets, 2 Shuting Sticks, a Plainer, and fome old Furni- 


12 Cuts for Dilworth's Spelling Books 

2 King's Arms, 3 S's for Bill of Lading, 3 or 4 Head y Tail 


The Cuts for 9 advertifements much worn 
Some Brafs pieces of Rules, and other Rules . 

Three Printing Preffes, one much shattered 













1 1 

16 . 


7 : 




10 : 


6 • 




19 : 


3 : 



3 : 


5 : 


4 : 


10 ; 

15 : 


10 : 




10 : 


10 : 


10 : 



16 : 

Errors excepted 
Per James Parker 

2 : 
I : 



12 : 


268 : 

10 : 

4S : 




: 10 


Parker's inventory set in type. 

94 Publisher and Bookseller, 

The foregoing advertisement, which was pub- 
lished in 1742, is notable because it contains the 
earhest known reference to fountain pens. They 
were not of course made as are those of the present, 
the process of galvanizing rubber not having been 
discovered until nearly a century later. 

Contrasting strangely, according to the modern 
viewpoint, with the last paragraph of the foregoing 
advertisement is the following: 

TWO likely young Negroes, one a lad 
about 19: The other a Girl of 15, to be fold. 
Inquire of the Printer. 

These advertisements appeared frequently, evi- 
dently according to the space at the publisher's 
disposal, as did the following three, which evidence 
the wide range of his operations: 

VERY GOOD SACK at 6s. per Gallon. 
Inquire of the Printer hereof. 

VTERY good coffee fold by the Printer 

^ hereof. 

O EADY Money for old Rags may he had 

■'-^ of the Printer hereof; by whom is made 13 
Sold very good Lampblack. 


The Pennsylvania Gazette, 

'IIT'HEN Franklin established himself as a 
printer there was but one newspaper in 
Philadelphia, the "American Weekly Mercury," 
founded by Andrew Bradford in 1719 and issued 
continuously by him thereafter. Franklin said of 
it in the "Autobiography": "The then only news- 
paper . . . was a paltry thing, wretchedly 
managed, no way entertaining, and yet was profit- 
able. I therefore freely thought a good paper 
would fcarcely fail of good encouragement." 

On two occasions Franklin found himself the 
victim of misplaced confidence, each time in con- 
nection with a publishing venture and each time 
through betrayal by a man who pronounced his 
name Webb. The first instance is given in the 
previous chapter. The second relates to this 
second newspaper which he proposed to establish. 

On a certain day in 1728 there appeared in his 
office one George Webb, a journeyman printer 
from England, who had been bound to Keimer 
but who had purchased the remainder of his 
time from his master and employer. To him 
Franklin confided his plan and Webb immediately 
went to Keimer with the information. Keimer 
"clutched at the idea," hurriedly made arrange- 
ments to forestall his rival in issuing a new news- 

iThe Univerfal InJhHfior in mU Arts and ScUncfs : 


Pennfylvania Gazette. 

To be continued Weekly.' 'iOecmS. ,2i,. 1728 

A A 

A H\tAiM U*ir,iiXo ereS a roble ^nd magnU to God) as Fattier of all Things. Tho'tliis Way of 
ficent Struaurc,is oblig'd to maltcUfe nl the Esplication has been .much corrupt.'d, and confequontly 
meaneft and moll contemptible Materials,' in condemn'd by many Learned Writers. 
Order to begin, carry on, and pcrtcA hi» Of all the Letters, A is obkrv'd to hi that ivhicli 
Undeijaking ;tba6Petron whatever cjn make dumb Perfons are fooneft taught to pronounce. 1 he 
any true judgment what Sorf of Building it will b«, Rcafon is, that it does not depend on the Wulcles. nr 
byjinlv beholding the pre-paring of the Mortar, the dig. other Organs of the Mouih and Tongue, which .-^re g^- 
Biiu q'ttbebtones, thefauaring the Marble, or the miJ£- nerally wanting in Mutes; but on thole ot the 
lngT<# tli'e Colours. " jind Nofe, which the v commonly have. 

Tho famtf'Oiay juflly te obfcrv'd ot our Vnivcrfal . This fall Umpleft Sound A fervesus to expreft iti-j^l 
iafiruSir'^ ior as Great Things are compounded of of the Movements of the Soul. Tis fo mu?!i the Lan- 
fltvll, w<iJbipk it ncceffary, in Order to furnift out guage of Mature, that upon all fudden and.extraord'inary 
Paper wiM proper Materials deferving that Charaftuf, Occafions, we are neceirarily led to it, as the Inftru-. 
to introduce it with an Expofitionxin the Letter A, the mint ready at hand. With this we'fpeak our'AdmVrati^ 
fir* in the'Afphlbetr and as ielferj were betore f*'a.-A-, on, Joy, Anguifh, Avcifion, Apprchenfion of Danger, 
and.(*'wiibnly ferve as fo many Melfcngcrs to declare iSc. Where the Paflion is very ftrong, we irtquently 
the Kature and Property o^Zbings, it cannot be thought heighten the y«, by adding an Jlffimc, Ah. 
impertinent to begin at the lowed End firll, and advance 'i'is obfcrv'd of the Englip Pronunciation, that we 
by pegcees, to.the highett Pitch of Knowledge we aim Ipeakthe A with a flenderer and more puny Sound than 
toiim*. at. But to proceed, ^n/ of our Neighbours: Ordin.irily, 'tisTcarce broad 

enough for a IrtmhE Neuter, and com-.s tar Hidrt of 
The Gratnmarians hIH reeds have A to be the firft ^e grofs a of the Germain which would make our au, 
tewst; ar»lt-fc3l)£Ma«» i andifinilio-ot-em afliga a c:atil-^H*i4i«4, ot t. Infomc Words ho«» as /j;i, -a^H, 
ral Realm for U> i<?. That it is ti'.e moll fimple, and /?a,'/, CJr. the a it broad, and deep enough. But this; 
c^efti.ifl;.i)e.^TOCiottncM of all articulate Sounds. To 'tis obfcrv'd, may not be the roeer 5ound o\ a \ hut tbo^ 
confirm this,; ^fBji'.-iaJj^er, a.fatpons' Author^ obfervcs, E-fieft of the ancient, Orthography, which, as low a( Qiu 
that ,<! it the firft Sound Nature! jiiils forth at, the cry- Eliiibcth, added an u to the a, and wrote taulk, vault, 
ing and fmillng of Infants; and that it needs no other iS;c. ' _. , 

Motion to form it, but a bare opening of thet.rp5.- ^The Romans laid a mighty Strefs on their a; and di- 

Cntrrinial, refining on this Sintijjicnt of Scali^tr, flinguifti'd exaftly, hoth in Writing and Speaking, when, 
«bfel>n very gravely, that the firll Sound pur forth by it was long, and when {hort. To denote it lon->, they 
Boyt, f^A', but that -Girls firft put forth E; each pro- firft wrote it double, AalaSor Ala; which * being 
nouncintthc initial . or firft Letter of the Name ot the enough, they infertcd an b between 'em, . «. Ac, 
Partnliflfe refpeflive Sex. Dt^ LHlletsK, ^Cstt'mg AJam length they fell to the common long Accent- i.a ' "'i 
aCde/thiRes the tjne fpeak the final, and the other the ,3 was one of the Numeral Letter^ among the Antierts, 
initial Letter of the Mother of Mankind, EyA, and fignily'd 500... yvitha Dafh 00 the lop a, it ilood 

But Sis i^ VXin that Authors compare' the A of the for ^000.. 
^HjliJbjJEa/io, Prcnib, &c- with the Alcpb of the He- .Sar-tuiBr gives us a Set ot ancient Technical Verfcs," 
J«tBj,'MrBie EUpb of the Afabi ; thofe two Letters ha-" [tbat is, Verfcs Ucatiox 'f Art, Technical iein^ a Wtri 
Ting TO iSrefbrmity with our Europtan A, except in Jram tbe Greek, /)/.?)!'/;;/);] wherein the Numeral Va- 
«hlt, .thjt,thty are. the firft of their fcvenl Alphabets, lue of each Letter of the Alphabet is exprcft'd, wbereoi 
V^at makeji ^ fiTeater Difference, is, that thefe Oriental this is the firft, 
.0. EattMH-.,0 aie rot Vowels, , . ■ 

Some Crifieki take the Hebteil lA'.ipb to be neither tiffiiet A numerts quinj^enUs, crdine rtSt, 

Vowel, nor Confonant, but what tfie GVamrrtftrians call 

ui Af^iratt or Tntuniliti Letter, [>iaf Is, a Letter which tranflated into) EngliJIi Verfe, is, 
frtn.'niic'ii wiri ay?rri>,^ Pre</6] liiethe H in the ioJin, . ,, 

and our Language V adding tbn St. Jerw;;. appears to A ly it k\C, ^as learite J B»r~- anfijjes'] 

have had the fame Thouj,hc, irfio probably learnt ic "Jrive Hundred Nhanbert (in right Line) poff^ffet, 

from the 7f m pf the SchooV of • ■IS*<r/«i. Bet thoJe« ^ t 

fuitsde Trevrax give the Thing another Turn. Thof« Cut we ft all here obferve, once for all, that lt,ni» 
F»fh»ts, have prorfd that the Hebrew Alefb, Arabick noj: ftriftly among the Ancients, that this Ufe of Nume- 
eUpb, itid SyriacJi Olifb, are real Confonants, and that ral Letters bad Place, as is commonly fuppos'd. Ifdire 
the fsmeholds of all the other Afpirates. ■ ' HifpaUHfis, an Author of the VlUh Century, afSrms it 

Tbfr IWmaifiAl, .a Sort of SfewA R.ibbies, in their eiprclly, Lat'mi autem ttumtris ad iiltfinttm ctmpatant 1 
(MgUi'ivbKii^i a Myfliicl £tf,f lim frcm V/otds and that is. But tbe Latins </. /.»« mlini tU> Ifumhirt bf 
V^mnnsthor .}**] pretending ca find out aUlrufe and Letter!. The Ofige was really inttodue'd in the Days 
iJii^tftoMeiningstirrein, tell u!^the/7/e/i6 »nd Btfi, the ofBarbarilm. Monfieur du Caage, explaining what 
ftvft firlT LetteW beiBg join'd, make At, xiHA.S^ tHM Ufago was, at die beginning of each VidlutiCftit 
**> fiirt<*^iT> fteira*, and by Iratlpoflog '#m'int(l2Si»v titoffary, [vbicb is a Di^onary of cbfcntt; tiultltt:4tS 
»t»|e y«»4«»,^«hidi In the Jyr*>\ vkJ CM<*» ^<f(t hukcriui Wti^s and Pbrajtrof as ,»(ferV, irlijllia »» 
«»Ui>iIiiM«t Bji«r«loi they\pt«ld/li«w. tiey B«^t, «fii?<f"ia)SBi(Je3 th? Gen*»Bfe .if Fill ■iiii I TI'BWMI 

First page of the first issue of Samuel Keimer's weekly newspaper. 

Original in the possession of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 

Size 6j\" X loi". 

The Pennsylvania Gazette, 97 

paper, and soon after, on December 24, 1728, there 
appeared the first number of Keimer's ''The Uni- 
verfal Inftructor in all Arts and Sciences, and 
Pennfylvania Gazette." 

The subscription price was ten shillings a year 
and advertisements were inserted at three shillings 
each. A feature was to be the publication of 
''Chambers' Dictionary of the Arts and Sciences" 
which had just appeared in London, and which, 
in the absence of copyright, afforded a simple and 
easy way of filling the pages of the new paper. In 
the first number were two columns of the diction- 
ary, an address of the Legislature of New Jersey 
to the Governor, his reply, two columns of gen- 
eral news paragraphs, and three advertisements, 
two of which were Keimer's own. 

The "Univerfal Instructor" was an improve- 
ment, although not very much of an improvement, 
upon Bradford's "Weekly Mercury." Franklin, 
in retaliation for what he considered the duplicity 
of Webb and Keimer, immediately devoted his 
talents to improving the "Mercury." He con- 
tributed a series of papers signed " Bufy-Body," 
written by himself and his friends of the Junto. 
These papers created quite a stir in the Colonies 
and attracted favorable notice and support to the 
"Mercury." In spite of that fact, however, 
Keimer succeeded in struggling along to the 
twentv-sixth number of the "Univerfal Instrucflor" 

98 The Pennsylvania Gazette. 

ithout Interruption. Then came a delay in 
publication which was explained by him as fol- 

"It certainly mufl: be allow'd fomewhat ftrange 
that a Perfon of ftrid: Sincerity, refin'd Juftice, 
and univerfal Love to the whole Creation, fhould 
for a Series of near twenty Years, be the conftant 
But of Slander, as to be three Times ruin'd as a 
Mafter-Printer, to be Nine Times in Prifon, one 
of which was Six Years together. . . . Fame, 
that common Strumpet, who long has been my 
avowed Enemy, to my Lofs (as I may truly fay, 
of feveral Thoufand Pounds), has fo far debauch'd 
my Enemies, that by their late Attacks I was 
awak'd when fail afleep in Bed, about Eleven at 
Night, over-tir'd with the Labour of the Day, 
and taken away from my Dwelling, by a Writ 
and Summons, it being bafely and confidently 
given out, that I was that very Night about to run 
away, tho' there was not the leaf!: Colour or 
Ground for fuch a vile Report." 

Keimer made an arrangement with his creditors 
that enabled "The Univerfal Instrucftor*' to reach 
the thirty-ninth number, when it succumbed, and 
whatever good will it possessed was sold for a trifling 
sum to Franklin and Meredith. 

Franklin shortened Keimer's absurd title to the 
concluding three words, "The Pennfylvania Ga- 
ette" and occupied most of the front page of his 
first number, dated Thursday, September 25, to 


Numb. XL. 

Pennfylvania GAZETTE. 

Conta'ming the frejhejl Advices Foreign and Dome flick. 

From Thurfday, September a j. to Thurfday, Odober i. 1719. 

rH E Pennfylvinia Gazette leing vd-ji to 
be (arry'i on by o:her HaiiifC, Ihs RcsJcr. 
may tiftH famt Accmu} tftbc Method -Jic 
dtjiiii to frcrtcd ill. 
Upon a Fie'M of Ckzmhcts's great Di^Jioiurie;, 
from wheme vere taken the Materials of the 
Univerfal InftruSor in all Arts and Sciences, 
vibich ufually made the Firji Vart cfthis 'Taper, 
we fii/d that befdei their cotitaiiiiiigmaiiyThiiigs 
ahprufe or isjigiiificant to lis, it -will probably 
it fifty Tears before the fVhoU can be gone thro' 
ill this Manner of Publication. There are like- 
vife in thofe Books continual References from 
Things under one Letter of the Mphabet to thofe 
under another, which relate l,o the fame Siibjeil, 
and are ntcejjary to explain and ctmpleat it ; 
Ihefe taken in their Turn may perhaps be Ten 
Tears diflar.t-^ andjince it is likely that they who 
defire to acquaint ihemfelves luitb any particular 
jirt or Science, would gladly have the whole be- 
fore them in a mvch lefs Time, vie believe our 
Readers Tcill not think fucb a Method ofcommu' 
tjicating Ktimvledge p> be a proper One. 

Howevtr, tho' we do not intend to continue the 
lubrication of tboft DiHiouaries in a regular 
Alphabetical Method, as has hitherto been done ; 
jet ds fever ai "hings exhibited from them tii the 
Cciirfe of thtfe 'Tapers, have been entertaining 
to fucb of the Cirious, who imer had and can- 
tot have the Ad\.'antiige of good Libraries ; and 
fs there are many Things fiill behind, which be. 
tng in this Manner made generally k/iown, may 
perhaps become of coiifiderable Ufe, by giving fich 
Hints io the excellent natural Genius's of our 
Country, as may contribute either to the Im- 
frovement of our prefent Maniifaaiires, or to- 
■s:ards Ike Invention of new Ones ; we propsfe 
FO^Time to Time to communif ate fucb particu- 
lar Tarts as appear to be of the mpfi general 

As to the Religious Courtftilp, 'Part of 
^icb has been retat'd to the Tublick in thefe 
'Papers,, the Reader may be inform'd, that the 
whole Book will probably in a little Time be 
printed and bound up by itfclf; and thofe who 
apfr'-ve ef it, will doubttefs Le better plcas'd to 
have it entire, than in this brokin iiiternipli^d 
' Manutr. 

First page of first number of the "Gazette" published by Franklin. 
Original in the Ridgway Branch of the Philadelphia Public Library. 
Size 6|" X loi". --^^j^ ^ 

There are many who have long defired to fee a 
good News-Taper in Pennfylvania, and we hope 
thofe Gentlemen who are able, will contribute to- 
wards the makinr This fiich. IVe ask Ajijiance, 
becaiife we are fully fcnfible, that to pnhlifb a 
good News^Taper is not fa eafy an UnJjrtjkii.g 
us many Teople imagine it to be. The Author of 
a Gazette fin the Opinion of the Learned J c:ight 
to be qualified with an extenflve Acquaintance 
with Languages, a great Eafinefs and Ccii:manJ 
oflVritiug and Relating Things cleanly and in- 
telligibly, and in few Words ; he fboitld be able 
tofpeak of War both by Land and Sea • be well 
acquainted with Geography, with the Hflory of 
the Time, with the fever jl Interefls rfTrinccs\ 
and States, the Secrets of Courts, and the Man- 
ners and Ciipoim of all Nations, "^fin thus ac- 
compli/h'd are very rare in this remote 'Part ef 
the IVorld; and it would be well if the Writer 
of thefe Tapers could make up among bis Friends 
what IS wanting in himfelf. 

Upon the While, Wf may ajfiire the 'Ttibliek, 
that as fir as the Encouragement ■xe iiiet with 
will enable us, no Care and Taws /bull be omit- 
ted, that may make the Pennf) Ivania Gazette 
as agreeable and iifefiil an Entertaiunient as the 
Nature of the Thing will alloit;. 

The Following IS the bft Meflage fcnt by 
his EiiCellcncy Governour Burnt.', to 'he 
Hotifc of Rcprcfentitixes i.i Bojicli. 

CiM'.tmn if lie Hi:ife 4 ^'}rifn:talitjtl, 

IT ii oot with fo viic a Hope aj to convince you, cKit 
I rake the Troufff to aiifwet your MclTj;;cs bjt, if 
poiTiblc, to open the Eyes t>f tlic riclufleU People vhonx. 
you represent, wJ whom you arc at io much I'lins ro keep 
iti Jcnorancer^ the truv St.tte of their Aft'^m. I need ooc 
go fiiither tor ail un<!eni:iblc Proof of this Endcavoot to 
bImH ihrnif than your oiiciinf: tlic Letter of Mcflicuft 
t{':ikn'\A brirltrnflhc IthoffiV Uft to yout Spnltet !• 
be (wblifticd This Letter ",h faid (in Pa/e i of youf 
Vers) « m<hfe m Of) tt it* Rrfen 4 ihf Ufii 4 tU Ctn- 
m,$n4 Hii Mfjiflii Ptnif, aUb hh M'Pfi At- 
f'o\ium mi OrAtr tifrem rt Ommtl . Yrt tticfc dcnfleo^ 
had-it the fame time the unparallcir.i Prrfum prion ta 
utile to the Speaker in ihi.. ^taaneI■. 7V;/ tt-fcrrn tf itt 
Cvslmjisa. tf^.Tf it fri^fiJ to be th C'Mje^tunc «t y«m ruf CM^ 
/!>*? 'jiM fr,i ,1/ji'h/, Mr^x.) W.' v/ivle VMO tt V 


lOO The Pennsylvania Gazette* 

Thursday, October 2, 1729, with an announcement 
to its subscribers, the number being ninety. Two 
weeks later appeared another announcement, in 
part as follows : 

"The Publifhers of this Paper meeting with con- 
siderable Encouragement, are determined to con- 
tinue it. . . . From this time forward, in- 
ftead of publifhing a Whole Sheet once a week, as 
the firft undertaker engag'd to do in his Propofals, 
we fhall publilli a Half Sheet twice a Week, which 
amounts to the fame Thing." 

Less than two months later, the weekly issues of 
four pages were resumed, and a larger size of type, 
corresponding to modern twelve point, as con- 
trasted with the eight point previously used, was 
adopted. Later, various sizes of types were em- 
ployed and the issues were dated to cover periods of 
differing length, occasionally as many as twelve 
days. In the issue for December 2, 173 1, one of 
the four pages was blank. 

Keimer during his proprietorship of the "Ga- 
zette" occasionally but not often published enough 
advertisements to fill a page. Franklin increased 
the advertising patronage and within a year after 
he took over the paper some of its issues contained 
paid announcements occupying nearly two of the 
four pages. 

The type page of "The Univerfal InftruAor" 
measured 6^^ x lof inches. Franklin changed the 

The Pennsylvania Gazette. loi 

size to 6f X io| inches for all but the fourth page, 
which was slightly longer. From October 4, 1739, 
to January 27, 1743, inclusive, the size was reduced, 
without explanation, to 6J x 9 inches. Then it was 
increased to 7|x 11 inches, a size larger than the 
first, with three instead of two columns to the 
page. There were occasional "postscripts" of a 
single leaf, which after 1744 were called "supple- 

Editorially the "Gazette" was of uncommon 
brightness. Its pages were illuminated with the 
quiet humor to be found in all of Franklin's writ- 
ings, although with regret it must be noted that 
occasionally the humor was characterized by a gross- 
ness that can be excused only on the ground that it 
was characteristic of the times. His contributions 
took the form of letters addressed to himself as 
"The Printer of the Gazette," usually published in 
one number and answered in a later number. 
When the "Gazette" paid its respects to its con- 
temporary, the jibes were commonly veiled in an 
indirection that made their hits all the more telling, 
as witness this one, supposed to be a letter from a 

"To the Printer of the * Gazette': 

"As you fometimes take upon you to correal the 
Publick, you ought in your Turn patiently to re- 
ceive publick Correction. My Quarrel againft you 
is, your Practice of Publifhing under the Notion of 

102 The Pennsylvania Gazette, 

News, old Transacflions which I hope we have for- 

And the writer, who signed himself " Memory," 
gave instances of "news" four years or more old 
published in Nos. 669 and 670 of the paper. 

Franklin replied: 

"I need not fay more in Vindication of myfelf in 
this Charge, than that the Letter is evidently 
wrong direcTi'd, and fhould have been to the pub- 
lifher of the 'Mercury': Inafmuch as the Number 
of my Paper is not yet amounted to 669, nor are 
thofe old articles anywhere to be found in the 
'Gazette,' but in the 'Mercury' of the last two 

Although fond of taking a thrust at the opposi- 
tion and permitting itself to be the vehicle of 
occasional coarsenesses, the "Gazette" was free 
from scandal. Franklin justly made this claim for 
it in a letter with which he preceded the reprinting 
of an article on "Libel" from the London "Specta- 
tor," as follows: 

"Mr. Franklin: 

"Tho' your Newf-paper is fometimes as empty 
as thofe of others, yet I think you have for the moft 
part (tho' you were once in one particular a fad 
Offender) had the modefty to keep it pretty clear of 
Scandal, a fubjedl that others delight to wallow in." 

Franklin had definite opinions on the printing of 
scandal and libel. In the "Autobiography " he says : 

The Pamsylvania Gazette. 103 

"In the condudl of my newfpaper, I carefully ex- 
clud'd all libelling and perfonal Abufe, which is of 
late Years become so difgraceful to our Country. 
Whenever I was folicit'd to infert any thing of that 
kind, and the Writers plead'd, as they generally did, 
the Liberty of the prefs, and that a Newfpaper 
was like a Stagecoach, in which any one who would 
pay had a right to a Place, my Anfwer was, that I 
would print the piece feparately if defir'd, and the 
Author might have as many Copies as he pleaf'd to 
diftribute himfelf, but that I would not take upon 
me to fpread his detracflion; and that, having con- 
tracl'd with my Subfcribers to furnifli them with 
what might be either ufeful or entertaining, I could 
not fill their Papers with private Altercation, in 
which they had no Concern, without doing them 
manifeft Injuftice." 

Near the close of his career he wrote an essay en- 
titled "The Court of the Press." It " could receive 
and promulgate Accufations of all kinds"; it was 
"in favor of about one Citizen in five hundred" 
and was not to be "governed by any of the Rules 
of common Courts of Law." One paragraph reads : 

"My Propofal then is to leave the Liberty of 
the Prefs untouch'd, to be exercifd in its full 
Extent, Force, and Vigor; but to permit the 
Liberty of the Cudgel to go with it -pari paffu. 
Thus, my fellow-citizens, if an im^pudent Writer 
attacks your Reputation, dearer to you perhaps 
than your life, and puts his Name to the Charge, 
you may go to him as openly and break his 
Head. If he conceals himfelf behind the Printer, 

rfti Af A..'. . ..;, .1.-1. 1. ir (..J. k» "".-i ;^,?r^".'>^TtJ^^k2?t«i21, u°«i> »"»c?L'"!;i'«:"!,'f"i '»^"fii'V'' 

III. l,.1« .(.1. i.n.l l-„l«.. (Wk,... .M BU.1..) ^ ■ -11 . ■ A', ■f*'^— '««»,.*. 

. _t&£?'ii-i:.';;N':..r.... !i^'^"'''^^SjT"^ snow ^;7£^'„'%'j.Tjr;',;-,.iSr'^*- ^ 

.►s.rtiis In. * *'"'?t'2' 'li'^*^''^„'!\"„t ', ,T KT r n- I jV" fWet. th«. $««t Uh- "' ' ■ * *^ "^ « '. 

M.«, t««.'.h«.Mhhf<«F.n. 'Mwt'M'i^^ U U N away from Riclwd foote, AaTftifc-«,iU.«ju^cfai»b«,«-, ' 

jLas'«t^'"pjy' '^'p^j7,',JI .'' s^.?p'sErf r^iS'^vlH S^^k^^'"^''^"'"'"'. 
' « V ■■■J' ^^i'i' ^; H i. ril iS£i!HvSHsS^ all p^ro'iri;;;;^;^ 

wA-Ftrw ' Urge .Traa of Land, in the „ , c^ri({^ m^^m, h,^a^b.^i it M^,k,',^th^ J\ yo^^ of uht^cT^ ita,iJi;^l' 

' 'iftWaVJf'*- ^nV-* -^ M*V«t J'l'J"' •» ^ WboCTW nkct V* ul Tmum tbr fiM kTT»t. fo 'i«=4t P#ri»«it u>J DtlSTirr of (h.« w&J!^ 

^^Bdh Scr<J,Lynn,cfPbi- '^' '^""■^^- ■^'- EiS L. >-^.->--fa "i ^^- »w ., 

trphLym.dtctiAI. L'^ir'.".5™'~"'.^H"M"°*'' "'"• . AndRoaiiTSTRETTiii, 

A. WATER LOT in »>i^ ' -^ <-^ ■ A^'kT, ll'r^l!" ,'""*° *' 

/A TowaOiip of Brdbl in Iht Cooi.ty of U /^ /"k I/' O Irti ■( Pn» D-rf.'^", 'J.'T:!'; 

js.tA^'L^.-r.'.ru'SJ-.K'iir.i:. sold by B.FRANict.N. ^';i,ri;:i,":if/4ir'"-" 

WILLIAM RLtO, ^.■r(rf.lm..^«k-,rnimui..«i™rtlt^,IU^-;(Mm^ 1 J»^ -««.• I 10 i Clock Hni* f,,^ 

^(ftpMiKe''^? decline the Bufinefs of „„ hooieVpufxit diito. rpciii.j book, of iji tjn> ^ Uupot-dioSoit, b, pobijck Vomo 

1' TuuitnC E> Bo^-I^'ewi, oa Tba«M CholkWy'l .ird'o r"«n( ■""'m'"*"''*.'*!"!', ptrditi'i Gnimc- ^'""'*°*''* 'O C&ur/^, b^ tb* SobftiAcn br.. , 
>.otiti« « Ftiokfoit, hii > Loft 0/ iooi Ytm 10 UT, baiM<n pocL.l oompmloe. miraift cjJ-ooJr. J?" •"'"'"J *7 tb« Conitof oomoBo Pin,., ^ 
ta ia hJiFJici («bVh mjj bo prel^l'd) f'om the Di(0 oodnoiFoli ncTiAtO, ^u.tnr winoDOr, Icolot lod cof.- tl""'* JT*!/ ""J" '" ^^ of|eDool«iw., | 
fccrof. Jh«iB» obotoilfolStJt. wilh Vitinj of thoico polTn, lo*e'i fot.eyinj, proiricioti, {otdoo't (Eopip^.l- y^^'^^^^Jff'J, eoHiulol,^.tf ^.., 

fbOKO P.rcol of joft EsAed, lo loH cbetj rilobwgb ditto, chty.oofbojlib, diito'icntUA oulidj, ^''' *^ ufuil A1Iq*iocb fat IfTtbrnTi, bjn | 
^Kadi-UoofTOTlbon Ctrdtt. - btoket'i ruigoTT, ftitp'j ditto, cnmco «d nKnli, icle- , .'T'. '™" f^<^«fc'0 Pw ffa b 

.I«,»<ll.|..* Hoti... t^ll Ct.tioJOni, .llouibo., ll..bcT.', lillT..ooTt,.«,r, r,l,ool '""'' '■'»t,io, ,o f.!,™ yot„> olj*. C«« 
fct^i of T'wube ond CortT.1 Tooli, o.d « Uteeofini, btigbtljnd'. u.|CQnt.<T.nurt, o*.". no crott do "/t" Jfioin. itwi •fli<b(d'b> tjj(^51is*.t .M 
Sol, of lu3 -Jl boo.'., -db dmn f.m S( ^.o! mM, tooo-rtoK.", ,o.,l„'. omN™,, .l^ ''."f ";">■. 'l Vl,y,"fali> *|B,f ., u 
KlVUO™!.. oo.,.lo..M.Tmo.. f,„,,o.o». w.H'.l,ol.k,«.o,, liocn. too,.!., pi- t,!,'" r _"k ^^''^fVCJ jfe'" ' ' 

W. 8. All Pff... b..i.r»|.lo«himo|rim-.p.oprr,ta thtoo pittt, ditto lirjo odiOtii, boo- Titf-f. opoo tbe aft, B'dXa'&'q.jS&jol.^. 
indtttrf, 10 btto, i. ,bd. Atnoot, ft .oitnodai, ,™., .iki tmVi fa With [...t nmt, o( otb„ '" "'"l Mo«t. .ho blrfi^*j4 io 1. 1,. f - 
^iWiaio..; ond .hoft Indobitd .o him. to coo,plp bmb.. Alfa, takoo-d.., p^r^r oftlJ foru, w,,, ^^"^ [^ ^,^^1!!',^"*""^"'** ^'"^ ' 

tmi.4DELPmji: Prifitcd by B. FRANKLIN, Post-Masiek, at iheNiiT 
FsuiTiNO>0Mici, nor tbc Mariccb 

Showing style and arrangement of the advertisements in the 
"Pennsylvania Gazette," 1744. Original in the Ridgway Branch 
of the Philadelphia Public Library. 

Juft arrived from LONDON, 

frflTikt EuTEtTAiNUENT of thc CURIOUS and Otkks, 

. 1 j, flow to be S E E N, by Six or mort, in a lirgc comraoJioui 

Room, at the Houfa of Mr. Fidal, in Second-Strett ; 

TJl Sohr or Camera Ohfcura MIC ROSCOP E^ 
Invknted by the Ingenious Di-. LIBERKHUN. 

T B Ok '"'''* Enttioimng of Iny Mic»oic<)Pi whjtibtvCT, and mignifict Objti)i lo i molt' 
(ufUhi^rtf Degree Tfic Arjnulcufce in (Wenl Sorts of RuitU, with many other living and 
JrSotedi. too teJ"*^ 'o menoon, will be Ihewn mod incrolibly [mgnifcj, at thc famt 
riSc dSinv^i alfb the arculioon of the Blood in a hrog'i 1-oot, a Fin.'i Tail, aifo in 
k rku BVi LAife, w)i:fe you diftuvor tBe Pulfetff the Hmt, the moving of thc Bowcli, the 
V ! and Aiterin, "id many r:iuU Irjl-aj, Ihat ohe T licufand tifthcm will not exceed the 
Rimdi of! Grain of Sandi with their Young in them i E.b m Parte, wluch hive given a general 
S itjf*ftion lo all tSatevcr fj* them. Tins Ciiriofity was never fticwn by any I'cifun ihatevcf<K Price £>£*(«» '"'«>• 

BKb' Strd inthJa J Ploil; ttdl PUnI, atan I fiiri Myllt Slid intUlci c tkiuf.-jti Crr~ti, 
Hit tliir Slidj. v:M clbcr Phnli t««.V;ri : Un^rtfa'.ariBi^iimiiy^aritifirlhtlKrLnn: 
Ibiftetbfr PUnts itfl/t alllhrir Setiit^nd tbpflASo /'Jani'i I ^v tcnta-n'dhn Urgr Fcfierittt 
Mtri FUlUi cgMjiadptnh i'ttrf'. \.^HPtipUtk<iibmitlii, cid'U ibjii'tr/b^uit. 

Tlml, rv<ri'Ji^U Brrj ibal we f^i l.^<»iif Thnibl I tcbil MctiaI tm cntrrvt 

Uti, tt'^lj^ I" itfilf^uitU Firlft if Us hid. hutbwind'rnsSmillnrfit—jt'.mmu^irUnt 
e^lrt and li'taUb tit Actm may dif/xn/i \lfbtu Rinfi, l,Us : fcr Ricfm',-pm„<x Eye 
By Finn tefmU Tbcifand Jgn teme, \Di/ier7u Ibeft Trulii nr Sin/ri tiuCt dijtry, 

Note. 7bt Micnoscopt miy it feet at Gnllemrni Hrufit, givitg half n Ihur'l ifllitt, tit 
> frmilU!^ enlj fretl Ten im the Mcmini le Fttr inlbe ylflirima, wi my Rem. 

TH E unpanDet'd M (J S f C A L SLOCK, ma<(e by that great Mafttr of Maehinery 
David I^ockwoOD : - Tim girat tilrlofity performs by Springs only ; it is a Macliine 
Ifioocipcraijlc in its Kind ; it extrels ail others in thc Beauty of ilsStruiflurc ; is incll Entertaining 
inks Mufick, and ptafs the choitjcft Airs from the moil celebrated Operas, with the grcateft 
Nictjy and Exniftnefs ; It paftnju with beautiful Glares, ingenioudy and varinudy Uitermix'd, 
the Ftcach Horn Pieces, pcrformM upon the Organ, German, and Common Flute, Flageolet, 
Vr. as Sonaa*5i Conccrto'st Miiches, Minuets, Jiggs, and Scot Airs, compos'd by Corclii, 
Ajjetoni, Mr. Handeli andoitogrestandoniiicnlMaftcis ofMufick. Pnx Ei^biien Pnite. 

TThis boutiftj Cuiiofity has Wai ihewn twice before the K I N Gi in his Royal Psbcc at St. 
fund's, where His Maj«fty was pleas'd to make an Obfervainn on the ExccUence of its Bcautyj 
ud dcclar'd. He thought it the Wonder of this Age. It is allowed by all who have fccn il, to 
Dcioorc worthy to adorn a KLng's Palace than of bang expos'd for a coaunon Sight. 

if. h. This furpiling Piece of Machinery has pven fuch general Satisfaftion to tlie Lovcrt 
W Alt and Ingenuity, that the Nobility are continually commanding jt to thar Stats to Citisfy thdf 
Ci^i6(ityi andistobcSOLD by thcOwna-EoHuHD RisiHG. 

The InGJe of this Machine may be view'd byGeotlemen md Ladies, uid is Co be ten (roiT 
t%ht in thc Momiog till Eight at Nighc 

Fir tie Evening bnnjian^ 

TM E CVxJc and Caiiiefa Obfcura, with tlie Battle of Dettingen, and fc*CTiI Italian Land. 
ftarA, reprcfaitijjg Armies, both Horfe and Foot, goir.g through their ExartxCc at the 
Woftl of Command : IJkewife Virws of Ships fighting at Sea, with the Fi(h playing ainve 
Wife, and Variety of Country Dances by Figures, fn or eight Foot high, (OTform'd in • 
SrtxM Manner by (he Ctnien Obfcura. This Cuiiofity ii efteem'd one of thc bdl Pieco «i 
P»i>4ng of the Kind thatererwai brought from Italy. 

toe StAT TM fMiiiy. S«cgcd DiKtt Ow fitSw;: TsbegblcScTciitacA 

Broadside advertising the wonderful new microscope. Bound in the 
volume of the "Pennsylvania Gazette" for 1744 in the Ridgway 
Branch of the Philadelphia Public Library. 

io6 The Pennsylvania Gazette, 

and you can neverthelefs difcover who he is, you 
may in like Manner way-lay him in the night, at- 
tack him behind, and give him a good drubbing. 
Thus far goes my Projed: as to private Refent- 
ment and Retribution. But if the publick fhould 
ever happen to be affront'd, as it ought to be, with 
the condudl of such Writers, I would not advife pro- 
ceeding immediately to thefe Extremities, but that 
we fhould in Moderation content ourfelves with tar- 
ring and feathering, and tofTmg them in a Blanket." 

Some of the news items afford a striking con- 
trast to those of the present day, as witness this one 
from the issue of February 29, 1732, which, while 
more than commonly startling, is not entirely un- 

"From the South-Carolina Gazette": 
"One Day laft week, Mr. Charles Jones, pur- 
fuing a Runaway Negro who had robb'd him; he 
came up with the Negro, who refilled and fought him ; 
and he ftruck the Lock of his Mufket into the Negro's 
Scull, and kill'd him. He went and told a Juftice 
what he had done, who order'd him to cut his Head 
off, fix it on a Pole, and fet it up in a Crofs-Road; 
which was done accordingly near Afhley Ferry." 

The advertisements in the "Gazette" related to 
runaway servants, horses strayed or stolen, real 
estate, "very good live-geese feathers," ^c. for sale. 
In the issue of the "Gazette" of May 30, 1734, ap- 
peared the first advertising cut, not, however, the 
first used in colonial newspapers, the "Mercury*' 
having used them for some months previously. 

The Pemtsylvanta Gazette, 107 

Many of the advertisements have a curious sound 
as viewed by modern standards : 

CIX or Seven Months ago, was lent by 
^^ David Evans, a barbicuing Iron, which he de- 
fires may be return'd, he having forgot to whom 
he lent it. 

A LL persons who are indebted to 
-'■ ^ Henry Flower late Poftmaster of Pennfyl- 
vania, for Poftage of Letters or otherwife, are de- 
fir'd to pay the fame to him at the old CofFee- 
Houfe in Philadelphia. 

"DETWEEN the fecond and third Sun- 
■*-^ days in June paft, there was ftolen three Bi- 
bles out of the Baptift Meeting-Houfe. . . . 
Whoever gives Notice of the faid Bibles, and fe- 
cures them so that they may be had again, fhall 
have Fifteen Shillings Reward. 

To Be Sold 

A LIKELY young breeding Negro 
Woman fit for Town or Country Bufinefs, 
has had the Small Pox; as alfo a Mill for grinding 
Malt, and a fcreen for cleaning of Malt or any 
other grain; inquire of John Danby in Third 
Street, and Know the Price; they will be sold very 
reafonable for ready Money. 

Counterfeiting seems not to have been a difficult 
art two hundred years ago if we are to judge by the 
following advertisement of the government of the 
Province of New Jersey: 

"Burlington, June 19, 1734. 

THIS is to give Publick Notice, that 
fome fraudulent Jerfey Bills have been lately 

io8 The Pennsylvania Gazette, 

utter'd at Burlington, and to caution all Persons 
that they may not be impof'd upon by them. 
They may be plainly diftinguifh'd from the true 
ones by thefe Marks; viz. The Coat of Arms, and 
the firft Word, This, are ftamped with red Ink, 
whereas in the true Bills they are done with 
black Ink: The Frauds are much foil'd and pafted 
on the Back and the Signers Names fuppof'd to 
be artfully taken from fome fmall Bill, and paft'd 
to the Fraud: and feveral other fmall Patches art- 
fully paft'd, to make them look Hke the true ones. 

The following advertisement has a flavor that is 
almost modern: 

DR. BATEMAN'S Pectoral Drops, 
which are given with fuch great Succefs, in all 
Fluxes, Spittingof Blood, Confumption, Small-Pox, 
Meafles, Colds, Coughs, and Pains in the Limbs 
or Joints; they cure Agues, and the moft vio- 
lent Fever in the World, if taken in Time, and 
give prefent Eafe in the moft racking Torment 
of the Gout; the fame in all forts of Cholicks; they 
cure the Rheumatiim, and what is wonderful in all 
forts of Pains (be they ever fo violent) they give 
Eafe in a few minutes after taken; they eafe After 
Pains, prevent Mifcarriages, and are wonderful 
in the Stone and Gravel in the Kidneys, Blad- 
ders and Ureters; bringing away Slime, Gravel, 
and oftentimes Stones of a great bignefs, and are 
the beft of Medicines for all Stoppages or Pains 
in the Stomach, Shortnefs of Breath, and Strait- 
nefs of the Breaft, re-enkindling the almoft ex- 
tinguish'd natural Heat in difeaf'd Bodies, by 
which Means they reftore the languifhing to per- 
fect Health. Their manner of working is by mod- 
erate Sweat and Urine. For Children's Dif- 
tempers no medicine yet difcovered can compare 
with it: For it cures the Gripes in their Stomach 

The Pennsylvania Gazette, 109 

and Bowels. It caufes weak and forward Chil- 
dren to take their natural Reft. It is taken 
with great Succefs in the Rickets, and in a Word, 
it hath reftored Hundreds of poor Infants to 
their Strength and livelinefs that have been re- 
duc'd to meer fkeletons. Sold by Miles Strick- 
land in Market-Street, Philadelphia, price 4s. a 
bottle with Directions. 

At the time Franklin became a publisher it was 
the custom for newspapers to be sent through the 
mails post free, but the postmaster had the option 
of denying the privilege to such as he chose, and 
usually he denied it to all but his own. The suc- 
cessful newspapers in Boston and Philadelphia were 
conducted by the postmasters. This was an in- 
justice to other publishers and was keenly felt by 
Franklin in his efforts to extend the circulation of 
the "Gazette." His only feasible way to secure 
out-of-town distribution was to bribe the postriders 
to carry his newspapers in addition to the post- 
master's own. When he was appointed postmaster 
he opened the mails to all newspapers on terms 
equal to those he prescribed for himself. When he 
became Deputy Postmaster General for the Col- 
onies, in 1758, he withdrew the privilege of free 
distribution and established a charge of nine 
pence a year for each fifty miles of carriage. He 
was the first postmaster to advertise unclaimed 



Poor Richard's Almanach 

A LTHOUGH the encyclopaedias are authority 
for the statement that WilHam Bradford in 
1685 issued the first American almanac, the fact is 
that Stephen Daye printed an almanac in Cam- 
bridge almost fifty years before. One of the first 
issues from Daye's press was an almanac printed in 
1639 for that year, which began with March and 
not with January. Almanacs were also issued by 
other Cambridge printers prior to Bradford's. 

William Bradford issued the first almanac pub- 
lished in Philadelphia and it was also the first prod- 
uct of his press. Its title was " Kalendarium 
Pennfilvanienfe, or, America's MeiTmger. Being 
an Almanack For the Year of Grace, 1686." 

Hildeburn says: "It consists of twenty unpaged 
leaves. The reverse of the title which, in the copy 
at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, measures 
6 by 3I inches, the type occupying Sy\ by 2| 
inches, and half of the succeeding page is filled by 
Atkins' address 'To the Reader,' which is followed 
by Bradford's: 'The Printer to the Readers.' The 
latter was as follows: 

"Hereby underftand that after great Charge and 
Trouble I have brought that great Art and Myftery 
of Printing into this part of Am.erica believing it 
may be of great fervice to you in feveral refpects, 

Kdlendarium Pennfilvanienfe ^ 

o R, 

America's Meffingen 



For the Year cf Grace, 1686. 

Wherein is contained both the Englifh & Forreign 
Account, thf Motions of thfPlanrts through thfSigns, with 
th*Luminan«, Conjunitions, Afpffls, EclipfifS; therifing, 
fouthing and frtting of the Moon, with the x\me when fli* 
pafTrthpy.or is with the mod eminent fixed Stars . Sun rifing 
andfetting andthetimeof High-Water at the City of PAj 
Itdelphii, y<-. 

With Chronologies, and many other Notes, Rules, 
and Tables, very fitting for every man to know& have ; ail 
which is accomodated to the Longitude of the Province of 
Penn[ilv<inia, and Latitude of 40 Degr. north, with a Table 
of Houfesforthefame, which may indifferently ferve //ejjt 
EngUnd, A/ew Tork, Eajt&i Weft firfey, Maryland, aildmoll 
p3TU of fii^im'a. 

Student in the Mathamaticks and Aftrology. 

Andthe Stars in their Courfes fought againfl Seftra, Jndg.5. 59. 

/Yinted and Sold by Willtam Bradford, fold alfo by 

the Author and H. Murrey ir) Philadelphia, and 

Philip Richards in New-Tork'^ 1685. 

First issue of Bradford's Almanac. 

Original in the possession of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 

Size 2|" X 5j"g". 

112 Poor Richard V Almanack. 

hoping to find Encouragement, not only in this 
Almanack, but what elfe I fhall enter upon for the 
ufe and fervice of the Inhabitants of these Parts, 
Some irregularities, there be in this Diary, which I 
delire you to pafs by this year; for being lately 
come hither, my Materials were Mifplaced, and out 
of order, whereupon I was forced to ufe Figures $5" 
Letters of various fizes, but underftanding the want 
of fomething of this nature, and being importuned 
thereto, I ventured to make publick this, defiring 
you to accept thereof, and by the next, (as I find 
encouragement) fliall endeavour to have things com- 
pleat. And for the eafe of Clarks, Scriviners, ^c. 
I propofe to print Blank Bills, Bonds, Letters of 
Attourney, Indentures, Warrants, ^c. and what 
elfe prefents itfelf, wherein I fhall be ready to ferve 
you, and remain your Friend. 
Philadelphia, the 28th 

loth Month, 1685 W. Bradford. 

When Benjamin Franklin in 1732 decided to 
Issue aji almanac for the succeeding year, the busi- 
ness of almanac making was in a thriving state. 
Says John Bach McMaster in *' Benjamin Franklin 
as a Man of Letters": 

"The almanac was the one piece of literature of 
which the sale was sure. Not a household for a 
hundred miles around the printer, but if there was 
sixpence to spare, would have a copy. In remote 
towns, where money was not to be had, a dozen 
copies would be bought with potatoes or wheat, and 
disposed of one by one— at the blacksmith's for a 

Poor Richard's Almanack, 113 

few nails; at the tavern for rum; at some neigh- 
bor's in payment of a trifling debt. Chapmen 
carried them in their packs to exchange with copper 
kettles and china bowls, for worsted stockings and 
knit gloves. They were the diaries, the journals, 
the account books of the poor. Strung upon a 
stick and hung beside the chimney-place, they 
formed an unbroken record of domestic affairs, in 
many instances for thirty years. On the margins 
of one since picked up at a paper mill are recorded 
the interesting cases of a physician's practice, and 
the names of those who suffered with the smallpox 
and the flux. Another has become a complete 
journal of farm life. A third is filled with verses 
written in imitation of Pope and Young." 

Although late in 1732 there were in Philadelphia 
alone seven established almanacs, the fact did not 
deter young Franklin from entering the field. The 
cost of securing the copy for almanacs from the 
philomaths was between twenty to thirty pounds 
each year, which, in view of the fact that the salary 
of the attorney-general was only sixty pounds, was 
high pay. Franklin proposed to save this expense 
by furnishing his own copy. Since he was to be the 
publisher he did not wish to be known also as the 
author and predictor of events, and he therefore 
borrowed a title which he found in a London 
almanac entitled "Apollo Anglicanus" (the English 
Apollo) issued by "Richard Saunders, Student in 
the Phyfical and Mathematic Sciences." 

^ Apoffo Anglic anus: 

a^ THE 

English Apollo; 

All Perfons in the Right Undcrfland- 

4$^ Irgof this YEAR'S Revolutions, as a! fo of 
^ Things paft, prefen:, and to come. 

^^A Twofold KaUndar^ viz. Julian or EngUJh^ 
^j^i snd Gre;^OTtan or Foreign Computations, more 

~ plain and full than any other ; with the Rifing 
1^* and Setting of the Sun, the Nightly Rifing and 

^ Setting of the Moon, and alfo her Southing, 
^^ cxaftl; calculated for every Day, 
^ Of General USE for moHi MEN. 

Being thcSccond after Bijixtik, or.LE A p-Ye ar. 

To which is added, the Moon's Application to the 
Planetj; with the Calcularions of the Eclipses : Alfo 
Rules and Tables for the Me»farmg of Timber ; With 
many other Thingi both plesftnt, ufefol, and hecellaty. 

Calculated according to A R T, and fitted to the 
Meridian of Lticejin. whofe J-aritude ii 52 Degrees, 41 
Miniitei, exaiiiy hiring all the middle Countfe* of England, 
and, without ienfible Error, the whole Kingdom. 


* Student in the Phyfical and Mathematical Sciences. 

LONDON:: Printed by A. Wil de,!^ 

for the Gompany of Stationers,i746. ^ 

The English almanac issued by the original Richard Saunders, upon an 
early number of which Franklin modeled his "Poor Richard's Almanack." 
Original in possession of the author. Size 3I" x 5I". 

Poor Richard's Almanack, 115 

The success of "Poor Richard's Almanack" was 
immense. The first edition was immediately sold 
out, as was also a second, and before the end of the 
year a third was printed. Of the Almanack Frank- 
lin says: "I reaped confiderable profit from it, 
vending annually near ten thoufand." 

Poor Richard, although entirely fictitious, be- 
came in the minds of the readers of the almanac a 
very real person. Franklin, as he says, scoured the 
literature of the ages, and the wisdom thus secured 
was served up in the homely words of Poor Richard 
in a way that proved to be very acceptable to the 
readers. Not only did the sayings pass into the 
common speech of the people, but the writings of 
others of that time and the years immediately suc- 
ceeding abound in quotations from Poor Richard. 
Indeed, it is true of the present as of the past that 
probably no other American writer is so frequently 
quoted as Benjamin Franklin. 

Poor Richard in the first number gives as a 
reason for the publication of the Almanack: "The 
plain Truth of the Matter is, I am excefTive poor, 
and my Wife, good Woman, is I tell her, exceflive 
proud; fhe cannot bear to fit fpinning in her Shift of 
Tow, while I do nothing but gaze at the Stars; and 
has threaten'd more than once to burn all my Books 
and Rattling-Traps (as fhe calls my Inftruments) if 
I do not make fome profitable Ufe of them for the 
Good of my Family. The Printer has offer'd me 

Poor Richard, 173;^. 

A N 

For the Year of Chrift 

7 3 3' 

Being the Firfl after lEAPYEAR: 

^tid trtahti pnrt ihf Crealim Ycatj 

By the Account of the E ftfo Grftjts 724 1 

By the Latin Church, u-hcn O cnr IT ^9J2 

By the Computation of IV IV 5741 

By the /?o/na« Chronology 5682. 

By the "Jcw'ip Rabbie* 5494 

Wherein is contatned 
The Lonations, 'Eclipfcs, Judgmcnr of 

the Weather, Spring Ti<1c<, Plaoefs Moiioni& 
jnufual AfpeGs, Sun and Moon's Rifmg and Set- 
ting, Length of Days, Time of High Wuicr, 
Fairs, C>urrs, and obfcrvahle Day* 

Fitted tothcLanrudc.oI Fortv Degrees, 
and a Meridian of Five Hours VVfft frofr« Imttoii, 
hut mav without (enHhle Error Ccrveali ihe ad- 
jaccnr Places, even from Ke-wfoundlmul »o Siuth- 
Caro}'m a. 



Printed and fold by B FUJNKL/S. at the New 
Printing Officr neai the Maikci 

Title page of the first number of "Poor Richard's Almanack." 

Poor Richard* s Almanack. 117 

some confiderable share of the Profits, and I have 
thus begun to comply with my Dame's De- 

He gives his readers warning that they must not 
expect too much of soHd stuff: *'And be not thou 
difturb'd, O great and fober reader, if, among the 
many ferious fentences in my book, thou findeft me 
trifling now and then, and talking idley. In all the 
Difhes I have hitherto cooked for thee, there is 
folid Meat enough for thy Money. There are 
fcraps from the Table of Wifdom, that will, if well 
digeft'd, yield ftrong Nourifliment for the Mind. 
But fqueamifh ftomachs cannot eat without Pickles; 
which, it is true, are good for nothing elfe, but they 
provoke an Appetite. The vain Youth, that reads 
my Almanack for the fake of an idle Joke, will, per- 
haps, meet with a ferious Reflection that he may 
the ever after be the better for." 

Poor Richard was entertainingly frank about his 
personal family affairs. In the second number, in 
congratulating himself upon the success of the 
Almanack, he announces that his wife has been able 
to buy a pot of her own, instead of being obliged to 
borrow one, and that they have got something to 
put into it. "She has alfo got a pair of Shoes, two 
new Shifts, and a new warm Petticoat ; and for my 
part I have bought a fecond-hand Coat, fo good 
that I am not now afhamed to go to Town or be 
feen there. Thefe Things have render'd her tem- 

Ii8 . Poor Richard^s Almanack, 

per fo much more pacifxk than it uf'd to be, that I 
may fay I have flept more, and more quietly, 
within this last year, than in the three foregoing 
years put together." 

In a stanza of doggerel in the first number he 
takes this fling at Bridget: 

She that will eat her Breakfaft in her Bed, 
And fpend the Morn in drefllng of her Head, 
And fit at Dinner like a maiden Bride, 
And talk of Nothing all Day but of Pride; 
God in his Mercy may do much to fave her, 
But what a Cafe is he in that fhall have her. 

In the next number of the almanac appears the 
following stanza by "Mrs. Bridget Saunders, My 
Dutchefs, in anfwer to the print' d Verfes of laft 

He that for the fake of Drink neglects his Trade, 
And fpends each Night in Taverns till 'tis late, 
And rifes when the Sun is four Hours high, 
And ne'er regards his ftarving Family, 
God in his Mercy may do much to fave him, 
But, Woe to the poor Wife, whofe Lot it Is to 
have him. 

An astronomical prophecy Is as follows: 

"During the firft vifible Eclipfe Saturn is retro- 
grade: For which reafon the Crabs will go fidelong, 
and the Ropemakers backward. Mercury will 
have his Share in thefe affairs, and so confound the 

Poor Richard's Almanack, 1 19 

Speech of the People, that when a Pennfylvanian 
would fay Panther he fliall fay Painter. When a 
New Yorker thinks to fay This he fliall say Difs, 
and the People in New England and Cape May 
will not be able to fay Cow for their Lives, but will 
be forc'd to fay Keow by a certain involuntary 
Twift in the Root of their Tongues. No Connecti- 
cut Man nor Marylander will be able to open his 
mouth this year, but Sir fliall be the firft or laft 
Syllable he pronounces, and fometimes both. 
Brutes shall fpeak in many Places, and there will 
be above feven and twenty irregular Verbs made 
this year; if Grammar don't interpose. Who can 
help thefe miffortunes .? This year the Stone- 
Blind fliall see but very little; the Deaf fliall hear 
but poorly; and the Dumb flian't fpeak very plain ; 
and it's much, if my Dame Bridget talks at all 
this year. Whole Flocks, Herds, and Droves of 
Sheep, Swine and Oxen, Cocks and Hens, Ducks 
and Drakes, Gtt^t and Ganders fhall go to Pot; 
but the Mortality will not be altogether so great 
among Cats, Dogs and Horses. As to Old Age 
'twill be incurable this Year becaufe of the years 
paft. And towards the Fall fome People will be 
seiz'd with an unaccountable Inclination to roaft 
and eat their own Ears: Should this be call'd 
Madnefs, Dodlors? I think not. But the worft 
Difeafe of all will be a certain moft horrid, dreadful, 
malignant, catching, perverfe and odious Malady, 
almoft epidemical, infomuch that many fliall run 
mad upon it; I quake for very fear when I think 
on't; for I alTure you very few will efcape this 
Difeafe; which is call'd by the learned Aibro- 
mazar Lacko'mony." 

120 Poor Richard's Almanack, 

In another number he prophesies: 

"Before the middle of this Year, a Wind at N. 
Eaft will arife, during which the Water of the Sea 
and Rivers will be in fuch a manner raif'd, that 
great part of the Towns of Bofton, Newport, New 
York, Philadelphia, the Lowlands of Maryland 
and Virginia, and the Town of Charlefton in South 
Carolina, will be under Water. Happy will it be 
for the Sugar and Salt ftanding in the Cellars of 
thofe Places, if there be tight roofs and ceilings 
overhead; otherwife, without being a Conjuror, 
a man may eafily foretel that fuch Commodities 
will receive Damage." 

In the next number appeared the following ex- 

"The Water of the Sea and Rivers is raif'd in 
Vapors by the Sun, and is form'd into Clouds in 
the Air, and thence defcends in Rains. Now, 
where there is Rain overhead (which frequently 
happens when the Wind is at N. E.), the Cities and 
Places on Earth below are certainly under Water." 

Fooling that was most rehshed by the public 
related to rival almanac makers. The one among 
them who was selected to receive the shafts of 
Poor Richard's wit was Titan Leeds, the philo- 
math responsible for Bradford's "American Alma- 
nack." After the paragraph explaining Franklin's 
reasons for publishing, there followed a prediction 
of the forthcoming death of Mr. Leeds, a device 
that was not original with Franklin, but had been 

Poor Richard's Almanack, 121 

used years before in England by Dean Swift, when 
he prophesied the death on a certain date of one 
Partridge, an almanac maker. Partridge sur- 
vived the date and then exultingly proclaimed the 
failure of the prophecy, but Swift replied that 
Partridge was so notorious a liar that his testi- 
mony could not be accepted in so important a 
matter. Franklin was more gentle in his jest at 
the expense of Titan Leeds. Poor Richard said: 

*' Indeed this Motive would have had Force 
enough to have made me publifh an Almanack 
many Years fmce, had it not been overpower'd 
by my Regard for my good Friend and Fellow 
Student Mr. Titan Leeds, whofe Intereft I was 
extreamly unwilling to hurt: But this Obftacle 
(I am far from fpeaking it with Pleafure) is foon 
to be remov'd fmce inexorable Death, who was never 
known to refpecft Merit, has already prepar'd the 
mortal Dart, the fatal Sifter has already extend'd 
her deftroying Shears, and that ingenious Man muft 
foon be taken from us. He dies, by my Calcula- 
tion made at his Requeft, on October 17, 1733, 
3h. 29m. P. M. at the very inftant of the c/ of O and 
^ . By his own Calculation he will furvive till 
the 26th of the fame Month. This fmall Difference 
between us we have difput'd whenever we have 
met thefe 9 Years paft; but at length he is inclin- 
able to agree with my Judgment: Which of us is 
mod: exa(5l, a little Time will now determine. 
As therefore thefe Provinces may not longer ex- 
pe(5l to fee any of his Performances after this 
Year, I think my felf free to take up the Tafk, and 

122 Poor Richard's Almanack, 

requeft a fhare of the publick Encouragement; 
which I am the more apt to hope for on this Ac- 
count, that the Buyer of my Almanack may con- 
fider himfelf, not only as purchafmg an ufefui 
Utenfil, but as performing an Act of Charity, to his 
poor Friend and Servant." 

Leeds replied indignantly, as Franklin hoped he 
would, which resulted in further reference to the 
matter in the second number of "Poor Richard's 
Almanack" as follows: 

" In the Preface to my laft Almanack, I foretold 
the Death of my dear old Friend and Fellow-Stu- 
dent, the learn'd and ingenious Mr. Titan Leeds, 
which was to be on the 17th of October, 1733, 3h. 
29m. P. M. atthe very Inftantofthe c/ of O and y : 
By his own Calculation he was to survive till the 
26th of the same Month, and expire in the Time of 
the Eclipfe, near 11 o'clock P. M. At which of 
thefe Times he died, or whether he be really dead, 
I cannot at this prefent Writing pofitively alTure 
my Readers; forafmuch as a Diforder in my own 
Family demand'd my Prefence, and would not 
permit me as I had intend'd, to be with him in his 
lajR: Moments, to receive his laft Embrace, to clofe 
his Eyes, and do the Duty of a Friend in perform- 
ing the laft Offices of the Depart'd. Therefore 
it is that I cannot pofitively affirm whether he be 
dead or not. . . . There is however (and I 
cannot fpeak it without Sorrow) there is the 
ftrongeft Probability that my dear Friend is no 
more: for there appears in his Name, as I am af- 
fur'd, an Almanack for the Year 1734, in which I 

Poor Richard's Almanack. 123 

am treat'd in a very grofs and iinhandfome Man- 
ner, in which I am call'd a falfe Predicfter, and 
Ignorant, a conceit'd Scribler, a Fool, and a Lyar. 
Mr. Leeds was too well bred to ufe any Man fo 
indecently and so fcurriloully, and moreover his 
Efteem and Affection for me was extraordinary; 
So that it is to be fear'd that Pamphlet may be 
only a Contrivance of fomebody or other, who 
hopes perhaps to fell two or three year's Almanacks 
Hill, by the fole Force and Virtue of Mr. Leeds' 
Name; but certainly, to put Words into the Mouth 
of a Gentleman and a ?vlan of Letters, againft 
his Friend, which the meaneft and moft fcandalous 
of the People might be afliam'd to utter even in 
a drunken Quarrel, is an unpardonable Lijury 
to his Memory, and an Lmpolition uDon the 

Leeds replied again, and to this reply in the issue 
for 1735 Poor Richard makes reference: 

"But having receiv'd much Abufe from Titan 
Leeds deceas'd (Titan Leeds when living would 
not have uf 'd me fo !) I say, having receiv'd much 
Abufe from the Ghoft of Titan Leeds, who pre- 
tends to be ftill living, and to write Almanacks in 
Spight of me and my Predications, I cannot help 
faying, that tho' I take it patiently, I take it very- 
unkindly. And whatever he may pretend 'tis 
undoubtedly true that he is really defunct and 
dead. Firft becaufe the Stars are feldom dif- 
appointed, never but in the Cafe of wife Men, 
fapicns dominahitur aftris, and they forefhow'd 
his Death at the Time I predidled it. Secondly, 

124 Poor Richard's Almanack, 

'Twas requifite and necefTary he fhoiild die pun6lu- 
ally at that Time, for the Honour of Aftrology, the 
Art profeff'd both by him and his Father before 
him. Thirdly, 'Tis plain to every one that reads 
his two laft Almanacks (for 1734 and 35) that they 
are not written with that Life his Performances ufe 
to be written with ; the Wit is low and flat, the little 
Hints dull and fpiritless, nothing fmart in them 
but Hudibras's Verfes againft Aftrology at the 
Heads of the Months in the laft, which no Af- 
trologer but a dead one would have inferred, and 
no Man living would or could write fuch Stuff as 
the reft. But laftly I convict him in his own 
Words, that he is dead {ex ore fuo condemnatus 
eft) for in his Preface to his Almanack for 1734, he 
says. Saunders adds another Grofs Falfhood in 
his Almanack, viz. that by my own Calculation 
I fhall furvive until the 26th of the faid Month 
October, 1733, which is as untrue as the former. 
Now if it be as Leeds fays, untrue and a grofs 
Falfhood that he surviv'd till the 26th of October, 
1733, then it is certainly true that he died before 
that Time; and if he died before that Time, he is 
dead now, to all Intents and Purpofes, any thing 
he may fay to the contrary notwithftanding." 

But the feature that gave widest popularity to 
*'Poor Richard's Almanack" was the short epigram- 
matic sayings with which he filled the blank spaces 
on the calendar pages as shown in the illustration 
on page 125. They were mixed with the calendar 
announcements indiscriminately and are to be 
distinguished only by the difference in type face. 

Mon, March hath xxxi days. 

My Love and I for Kiflcs playM, 
tihe would keep (lakes, I was contend 
But whca I won flie would he paid ; 
This made me ask her what flic meant: 
•Quoth fhe, finctf you are in this wrangling vein. 
Here uke ycur Kiues. give tne jnine sgaicu 







n 7 



5 Q^ Caroline Nst 1 1 r: 

Highfptingiidcs. I .K 
^Sund. Lent t 1201 
7 * ftt 11 2 

Days II h. 54 ra 
ffinJar^ cloud/ 
* (J 9 - toIJ 
ent. V* then 
Spring Q^ begins 

4 120 

A%i &makesS \<z 

26' 2 

Eq. Day&Night 
(J09 S-^tcJ 
If^rndy tut viarm 
Daysiocr.^ h. 
6b * fer 10 20 
St. Patrick j 
Palm Sunday 
il^arcb many ma- 

i^Hoyj be huffi, peer 
5'? *fet 100 Foil.']') 
6 Good Friday 

Nov: fair &'ttear 
7 • fcr 9 45 
High v^7ids,v)ith 
{tme 9Aia to ihi 
(5 Ob <«i 

618X9 - 

7I7 * Tet 9 27 

7 I*-" ' . 
5 20 5 

7 119 

9 U^ 





S o 










(5 St. David 

6 > tif. 4 \6 tno. 

6 New 2) 4 day, 

6 at 10 at night. 
eLet mj tffitBei 

6j>fet$9 4c aft. 

7 vii. 

7 Fijft Quarter 
7 [rsetiiovi, •farn' 
7 >fctS3 morn. 
7 Go en at tbcfi'Jl 

7 ffj:^ ; 

7 Even thy enmiet 

7 Mtf ^/<fe 

7 Full ® 19 day 
7 ; in the Mom. 
7 > rif S 4<5 aft. 
7 'Hr^r /Kw'rf 
7 fiEw/f teatarj 

7 Wtf» 

7 > rif I mom. 
7 Laft Quarter. 
7 Hvnitr ntwr 
•} faw bad bread. 
7p2ysincr. 3 38 
7l)rir 3 2S 

Inside page of "Poor Richard's Almanack." Original 3I" x 5I". 

126 Poor Richard* s Almanack, 

A few of these maxims, selected at random, are as 
follows : 

" Keep thy fhop, and thy fhop will keep thee/* 
"Diligence is the Mother of Good Luck." 
"God helps Them that help Themfelves." 
" Bargaining has neither Friends nor Relations.'* 
" Early to Bed, Early to rife, makes a Man healthy, 

wealthy and wife." 
"An Empty Bag cannot ftand upright.'* 
" Ben beats his Pate and fancys wit will come ; 
" But he may knock, there's Nobody at home." 

Franklin summed them up in a preface to the 
Almanack of 1758 (not 1757, as was stated in the 
"Autobiography") which is sometimes entitled 
" Father Abraham's Speech to the American People" 
and sometimes "The Way to Wealth.*' Of it Paul 
Leicester Ford says: 

"It is this preface which has given the name of 
Poor Richard currency in alien races, and a quot- 
able quality to this day. It has been printed and 
reprinted again and again. In every size, from a 
'pot duodecimo' up to 'imperial folio'; in thou- 
sands for the plow-boy, and in limited and privately 
printed editions at the expense of noblemen; for the 
* penny-horrible' hawker, and for the bibliomaniac; 
for the 'Society for Preserving Property Against 
Republicans and Levelers,' and for the 'Associa- 
tion for Improving the Condition of the Poor'; and 
under the titles of 'Father Abraham's Speech,' 
'The Way to Wealth,' and 'La Science du Bon- 


waMkadS 9 



For the Year 1744. 

Fitted to the Ufe ofpEWN- 
STCVANXA, and tfie neighbour- 
ing Provinces. 
With feveral ufefal AtM)itxons. 




Printed and-^bM by B. FRANe:LiN. 



H'gtSf Piaftgts, and 
fjT Ariel, Head^zFace, 
^ Taurus, iV^tf^t, 
li Gemini, Arms* 
gjCancery Breaft, 
I ;^Leo,. Hiftfrt, 
W^. Virgo, jffcav/fi 
:£i.Jwihra, /Je/w. 
lT^5c2ii pioj Secret Sw 
^ SdgittaryjTi^gitf. 
)^ C3pr»ioorn,^4»^^ 
JS^ Aonary, X^^j. 

^ Mars. 
? Venus. 
$ Mercury. 

^ Oppofition 


Pocket edition of the Almanack. 

128 Poor Richard* s Almanack, 

homme Richard/ It has proved itself one of the 
most popular American writings. Seventy-five 
editions of it have been printed in English, fifty-six 
in French, eleven in German, and nine in Italian. 
It has been translated into Spanish, Danish, 
Swedish, Welsh, Polish, Gaelic, Russian, Bohemian, 
Dutch, Catalan, Chinese, modern Greek, and 
phonetic writing. It has been printed at least four 
hundred times, and is to-day as popular as ever." 

Testimony to the value of the wisdom of the 
maxims is given by John Paul Jones, famous in 
American history as a naval officer in the War of the 
Revolution. The government of France had prom- 
ised a new ship to Jones and he waited at Brest, on 
the seacoast, month after month for it to arrive. 
He wrote for a fulfilment of the promise to every- 
body who might be connected with the transaction, 
even to the King of France himself, but the vessel 
was not forthcoming. One day he came across a 
copy of "Poor Richard's Almanack" in which he 
read the sentence, "If you would have your Bufi- 
nefs done, go; if not, fend." He took the hint, im- 
mediately journeyed to Versailles, and soon ob- 
tained an order for the purchase of the ship which, 
in grateful recognition of the source from which 
came the suggestion that brought an end to his 
difficulties, he named Bon Homme Richard. 

For twenty-five years Franklin compiled and 
printed the Almanack, the one in which appears 
the summing up of its philosophy being the last one 

As a Business Mb^n, 129 

edited by him. In 1748 it was enlarged from 
twenty-four to thirty-six pages and the size from 2 J 
X 5f inches to 3i x 5I inches, the name being 
changed to *'Poor Richard Improved." Small 
engravings first appeared in the issue for 1749. 

i^^ €^ Z^ it^ it^ it^ it< it^ il< it^ it^ i|t ii4 it, ii4 ii4 ti4 ii4 ii< @ il4 il4 

As a Business Man, 

Bufinefs, the Plague and Pleafure of my Life, 
Thou charming Miftrefs, thou vexatious Wife; 
Thou Enemy, thou Friend, to Joy^ to Grief, 
Thou bringTt me all, and bring ft me no Relief, 
Thou bitter, fweet, thou pleafing, teazing Thing, 
Thou Bee, that with thy Honey wears a Sting; 
Some Refpite, prithee do, yet do not give, 
I cannot with thee, nor without thee live. 

CO WROTE Poor Richard in his Almanack of 
1742, fourteen years after Benjamin FrankHn 
went into business for himself and six years before 
the date of his retirement permanently from it. 
The wisdom that experience in business had 
brought to him and with which Poor Richard for so 
many years pointed the way to achievement is to be 
found tersely stated in the epigrams and aphorisms 
which filled what would otherwise have been the 
blank spaces in the Almanack. To those who 
would look further into his business philosophy are 
commended the short papers entitled *' Advice to a 

130 As a Business Man, 

Young Tradefman," "Hints for Thofe That Would 
Be Rich," and particularly ''The Way to Wealth," 
which has been described as *'the best sermon ever 
preached upon industry and frugality." Prof. 
Albert Henry Smyth found seventy-three repe- 
titions in Franklin's writings of his favorite phrase 
"industry and frugality," and adds "there are 
many more." 

The great business enterprises of the present day 
had no counterpart in the America of the Eigh- 
teenth Century. We were then truly a country of 
shopkeepers. John F. Watson gives an interesting 
picture of the business men of that time. 

"The tradesmen before the Revolution (I men- 
tion these facts with all good feeling)," he says, 
"were an entirely different generation of men from 
the present. Between them and what were deemed 
the hereditary gentlemen there was a marked differ- 
ence. 'The gentry think scorn of leather aprons,' 
said Shakespeare. In truth, the aristocracy of the 
gentlemen then was noticed, if not felt, and it was 
to check any undue assumption of ascendency in 
them that the others invented the rallying name of 
' the Leather Apron Club ' — a name with which they 
were familiar before Franklin's 'junta' was formed, 
and received that other name. In that day the 
tradesmen and their families had far less pride than 
now. While at their work, or in going abroad on 
weekdays, all such as followed rough trades, such as 
carpenters, masons, coopers, blacksmiths, 6/c., uni- 
versally wore a leathern apron before them, and 

y4s a Business Man, 131 

covering all their vest. Dingy buckskin breeches, 
once yellow, and check shirts and a red flannel 
jacket was the common wear of most working men ; 
and all men and boys from the country were seen in 
the streets in leather breeches and aprons and 
would have been deemed out of character without 
them. In those days, tailors, shoemakers, and hat- 
ters waited on customers to take their measures, 
and afterward called with garments to fit them on 
before finished. 

*'No masters were seen exempted from personal 
labour in any branch of business — living on the 
profits derived from many hired journeymen; and 
no places were sought out at much expense, and 
display of signs and decorated windows, to allure 
custom. Then almost every apprentice, when of 
age, ran his equal chance for his share of business in 
his neighbourhood, by setting up for himself, and, 
with an apprentice or two, getting into a cheap lo- 
cation, and by dint of application and good work, 
recommending himself to his neighbourhood. 

**The overworked and painfully excited business 
men of the present day have little conception of the 
tranquil and composed business habits of their fore- 
fathers in the same line of pursuits in Philadelphia. 
The excited and anxious dealers of this day might 
be glad to give up half of their present elaborate 
gains, to possess but half of the peace and content- 
ment felt and enjoyed by their moderate and tran- 
quil progenitors." 

James Parton in his "Life of Benjamin Franklin** 
adds to the picture of the colonial business man and 
his activities by saying, "A store was simply 21 

132 As a Business Man, 

dwelling house, with a room full of goods on the 
ground floor, and a wooden bee-hive, anchor, Bible, 
ship, basket, or crown, hung over the door." 

Benjamin Franklin did not stop with preaching 
to others in his Almanack and "Gazette" correct 
principles in business. He practised them himself. 
Industry, frugality, modesty of demeanor, self- 
reliance — these were the foundation stones upon 
which he built, and that he built well is attested by 
the comparatively short period in which he secured 
a competence and was enabled to retire. 

But there were croakers in Philadelphia at the 
time when he went into business as there seem to be 
in all places at all times. One such, whom he de- 
scribes as "a Perfon of note, an elderly Man, with a 
wife Look and a very grave Manner of fpeaking," 
one day stopped at his door, asked him if he were 
the young man who had lately opened the printing 
house, and, being answered in the affirmative, ex- 
pressed his sympathy on the ground that the enter- 
prise was sure to fail. 

The elderly gentleman was not alone in his dismal 
prophecy. In a discussion at what was called the 
"Merchants' Every Night Club" the general 
opinion was that since there were already two 
printers in Philadelphia, a third could not succeed. 
But a Dr. Baird gave a contrary opinion. "The In- 
duftry of that FrankHn," said he, "is fuperior to 
anything I ever faw of the kind ; I fee him ftill at 

j4s a Bus in ess Man. 133 

work when I go home from Club and he is at work 
again before his neighbors are out of bed." 

DiHgence was characteristic of FrankHn's long 
and busy life. At the age of sixty-nine we find him 
writing to his friend Priestly, "In the Morning at 
fix I am at the Committee of Safety, which Com- 
mittee holds till near nine, when I am at the Con- 
grefs and that fits till after four in the afternoon." 

Franklin had a due regard for appearances. A 
chapter in the "Autobiography" is to the following 
effect : 

" In order to fecure my Credit and Character as a 
Tradefman, I took care not only to be in reality in- 
duftrious and frugal, but to avoid all Appearance to 
the contrary. I dreff'd plainly; I was feen at no 
Places of idle Diverfion. I never went out a fiOiing 
or fhooting; a book, indeed, sometimes debauch'd 
me from my Work, but that was feldom, fnug, and 
gave no Scandal; and, to fliow that I was not above 
my Businefs, I fometimes brought home the Paper I 
purchafed at the ftores through the flieets on a 

Franklin's independence is illustrated by an 
anecdote related by Jared Sparks. Some of the 
patrons of the " Pennsylvania Gazette " thought 
that he was too free in his criticism of the public acts 
of certain persons of high standing and warned him 
against its continuance as prejudicial to his business 
welfare. By way of answer, Franklin invited his 
critics and the other gentlemen of whom they spoke, 


General '^O^-^-v ^ ^^ 

Yt^f of ^i^- -*^^''^ -Vf-fWi 




Design for paper money made by Benjamin Franklin. Exact size of origi- 
nal, in possession of the author. 

The veins of a leaf were used to make counterfeiting difficult. 
tion reads: "To Counterfeit is DEATH." 


e inscrip- 

136 As a Business Man. 

to supper. They accepted, and when they had 
assembled at his board they found, much to their 
surprise, nothing before them but two puddings 
made of coarse meal, usually called "sawdust pud- 
ding," and a stone pitcher of water. Franklin ate 
heartily, although his guests found it practically im- 
possible to do so. When he had finished he dis- 
missed them with the statement, "My friends, any 
one who can subsist on sawdust pudding and water, 
as I can, needs no man's patronage." 

Franklin was careful of the quality of his work. 
While learning his trade, and afterward when fol- 
lowing it, he looked carefully into every method and 
process, with a view to determining for himself the 
reason for each operation, and frequently he was 
able to substitute better ones. Examination of the 
books and pamphlets he printed shows his work to 
have been of a uniformly higher grade than that of 
the other printers of his time or of the period which 
preceded his. We have already seen (p. 64) how 
he obtained one of his first orders, the public print- 
ing of Pennsylvania, because of the better quality 
of his workmanship. 

Of Franklin's position in the business world in 
1744, sixteen years after he began and four years be- 
fore he was to retire, Parton says : 

"His 'Gazette' became the leading newspaper of 
all the region between New York and Charleston. 
Poor Richard continued to amuse the whole coun- 

As a Bus in ess Ma n, 137 

try, to the great profit of its printer, who was 
obhged to put it to press early in October in order to 
get a supply of copies to the remote colonies by 
the beginning of the new year. All the best jobs 
of printing given out by the provinces of New Jer- 
sey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, fell 
to the office of Franklin; who, by means of his 
partnerships, had a share also in the good things 
of Virginia, New York, the Carolinas, and Georgia. 
His schoolbooks, his hand-books of farriery, agri- 
culture, and medicine, his numberless small pamph- 
lets, his considerable importations from England, 
all contributed to swell his gains." 

Of these profits Parton adds: "Probably his 
business in the most prosperous years did not yield 
a profit of more than two thousand pounds sterling. 
But there was not, probably, another printer in the 
Colonies whose annual profits exceeded five hun- 
dred pounds." 

Sydney George Fisher in "The True Benjamin 
Franklin," says: "Although extremely economical 
and thrifty in practice as well as in precept, he 
had very little love of money, and took no pleasure 
in business for mere business' sake." Fisher esti- 
mates Franklin's fortune at the time of his 
death to have been "considerably over one hun- 
dred thousand dollars." Parton gives the amount 
"at a liberal estimate, one hundred and fifty thou- 
sand dollars, of v/hich about two-thirds was pro- 




TN all his business arrangements Benjamin 
Franklin was careful to have complete under- 
standings in advance. It is the almost universal 
experience that partnerships are prolific sources 
of quarrels. Franklin had many business partner- 
ships, but all, with possibly one exception, turned 
out satisfactorily. This was owing, he said, "a 
good deal to the Precaution of having very ex- 
plicitly Settled, in our articles, everything to be 
done by or expecfled from each Partner fo that 
there was Nothing to difpute; which Precaution 
I would therefore recommend to all who enter 
into partnerfhips; for, whatever efteem Partners 
may have for, and Confidence in, each other at the 
time of the Contrad:, little Jealoufies and Difgufts 
may arife, with Ideas of Inequality in the Care and 
Burden, Bufinefs, ^c, which are attended often 
with Breach of Friendfhip and of the connexion; 
perhaps with lawfuits and other difagreeable 

It is interesting to speculate on how wide might 
have become the operations of Benjamin Franklin 
had he continued in business for the remainder of 
his long life. Success in printing nowadays is con- 
sidered to be entirely a matter of personality. 
Some one man or group of men dominates every 

Partnerships. 139 

printing establishment, which means that it is 
necessarily a local business. In all the United 
States, with more than thirty-one thousand print- 
ing and publishing establishments, there are com- 
paratively few conducting plants in places remote 
from their main offices. Benjamin P>anklin oper- 
ated printing houses located in widely separated 
parts of the Colonies and the West Indies. He 
was the first American trust magnate and the only 
one so far as the printing business is concerned. 

The first of his ventures of the kind after the 
dissolution of the firm of Franklin and Meredith 
occurred in 173 1, when he had been in business 
only three years. This partnership was with 
Thomas Whitemarsh, who began in Charleston, 
S. C, October i, 173 1, and who the next year es- 
tablished a newspaper, the ''Gazette," the first 
paper in either of the Carolinas. He was after- 
ward appointed printer to the government. 

Franklin had later another partner in Charles- 
ton, as successor to Whitemarsh. He was Peter 
Timothy, son of the Louis Timothee, who, as pre- 
viously related, was the editor of Franklin's Ger- 
man newspaper, the " Philadelphifche Zeitung." 

Three partnerships concern themselves with 
relatives. Having become reconciled to his brother 
James, whom he visited, in Newport, R. I., to 
which place James had removed his printing office 
from Boston, Franklin returned to Philadelphia 

1 40 Partners h ips, 

with his brother's son, who also bore the name of 
James, taught him the printing trade, and a few 
years later sent him back to Newport with a new 
assortment of types to be added to the equipment 
which his mother was using in her management 
succeeding the death of the boy's father. This 
was a philanthropic rather than a business enter- 

Franklin had another nephew, Benjamin Me- 
com, son of one of his sisters, whom he took into 
his shop in Philadelphia, taught the trade, and 
then established in business in Antigua, West 
Indies. The boy afterward returned to Boston, 
where Franklin again helped to set him up in busi- 
ness. He was only moderately successful and 
later made another move this time to New Haven, 
where Franklin procured for him the office of post- 

William Dunlap was another of Franklin's part- 
ners who was a relative, although by marriage, he 
having married into Mrs. Franklin's family. He 
began printing at Lancaster, but later removed to 
Philadelphia. According to Isaiah Thomas his 
"printing was correctly and handsomely executed." 
He subsequently left the business to engage in the 
study of divinity, and in 1768 became the rector of 
a parish in Virginia. 

Samuel Holland and Benjamin Franklin signed 
an agreement June 14, 1753, under which Holland 

Partnerships, 141 

began to print at Lancaster, Pa. Franklin was to 
let Holland have a printing press and type; Hol- 
land was to keep them in good order and to pay 
thirty pounds a year in four instalments. Hall 
and Miller were the names of two others of Frank- 
lin's partners at Lancaster. All of the Lancaster 
partners, including William Dunlap, were prob- 
ably connected with the same plant. 

William Smith was also a partner of Franklin 
in the West Indies. He established in Dominica 
in 1765 "The Freeport Gazette or the Dominica 
Advertifer" printed weekly on Saturday "on 
foolfcap fheet and with new long primer and fmall 
pica type." 

Hildeburn gives three other partnerships, all in 
Philadelphia, as follows: B. Franklin and G. 
Armbruester, 1 747-1 750; B. Franklin and J. Boehm, 
1749-1751; and B. Franklin and A. Armbruester, 

Articles of agreement were signed February 
27, 1741, between Benjamin Franklin and James 
Parker, who had served his apprenticeship with 
William Bradford in New York, by the terms of 
which Parker was to establish himself in that city. 
When Bradford discontinued the publication of 
his "New York Gazette" Parker reestablished the 
paper under the title of "The New York Gazette, 
Revived in the Weekly Poft-Boy," and he probably 
retained Bradford's subscription list. 

142 Partnerships, 

The original agreement with Parker was for six 
years, but it continued until Parker's death in 
1770. Franklin provided the plant, which is 
quoted by Livingston to have been: "A Printing 
Prefs with all its necelTary Appurtenances, together 
with 400 Pounds Weight of Letters; but of 'all 
charges for Paper, Ink, Ball, Tympans, Wool, Oyl 
and other things necelTary,' two thirds was en- 
tered againft Parker and one third against Frank- 
lin." The profits or losses were divided In the 
same proportions. 

When Franklin retired from active business he 
turned over his printing and publishing business 
to David Hall, his foreman, who v/as to carry It on 
under the firm name of Franklin and Hall and to 
pay Franklin one thousand pounds a year for 
eighteen years, at the end of which time Hall was 
to become sole proprietor. This agreement Hall 
faithfully carried out. 

In the final settlement James Parker acted as 
Franklin's representative, the latter being then in 
England. Parker made an inventory and ap- 
praisal (pp. 92, 93) showing that Hall had not kept 
the outfit up to a very high standard of efficiency. 
The manuscript of his report to Franklin is in the 
Typographic Library and Museum of the American 
Type Founders Company in Jersey City, and since 
it has not previously been published Is here given 
in full. The long letter seems to justify the des- 

Partnerships. 143 

ignation sometimes made of Parker as "the weep- 
ing philosopher." It is as follows: 

Philadelphia, February 3, 1766. 
Hon. Sir: 

This accompanies one Copy of the State of your 
Accounts with Mr. Hall according to the befl: of my 
Skill and Judgment, and the Quantity and State 
of the Printing Office : And tho' I have endeavoured 
to mention every Thing as plainly as I could, yet 
poiTibly some Articles may need a little Explana- 
tion, befides what is fo fet down:— The Valuation 
of the Printing Materials feems fmaller than I im- 
agin'd it would be; but as I examin'd all the Letter, 
and faw the whole weigh'd, I could not do other- 
ways: for the greateft Part of the Letter is much 
worn; the Old Brevier fit for very little, and Mr. 
Hall purpofes to throw it by as foon as he can, hav- 
ing got a new Fount himfelf already come over, to 
ufe in its Stead, — and indeed the whole is worn 
much, except the Double Pica, and neweft EngliOi, 
tho' neither of them are new, — we weigh'd the Forms 
and Pages of Almanacks ^c. with all their Rules 
in and about them, so that thofe Rules are charged 
in the Letter the fame as the Letter: In weighing a 
Form, we only took the Chace out of the Weight, — 
and in weighing the Letter in the Cafes, we weigh'd 
two empty Cafes first, and took their Weight al- 
ways out of it, — the Furniture and Rules not actu- 
ally up in Forms was but little and poor, and he 
mufl: foon get himfelf more : — One of the PrefTes is 
almoft done its beft, having been mended fo often, 
as to be very patch'd and Mackled : — On the whole, 
I think I have valued it, at what I thought was the 

144 Partnerships, 

Value of it, fuppofing no Advantage of one want- 
ing to buy it, or of one wanting to fell it, on either 
fide to be taken. — yet Mr. Hall fays, if there be 
any Particulars in it, that you fhall make objection 
to, he is willing it fhould be redlified. — With Re- 
spe(5l to the Paper furniflied by you he fays, he 
had no other Rule to afcertain it, than by the 
Work-Books, which we carefully look'd over, and 
fet down the Quantity ufed in every Job and 
Newfpaper, — As the Paper ufed for Public Work 
before 1756, and fundry other Work, had been 
fettled and accounted for to you already, as by the 
Accounts he produced in your own Writing ap- 
pears. — Tho' we fettled the Pocket Almanacks 
he fold at 6d which is as he fold them wholesale, 
yet he charges you with those fent to Rhode 
Island but at 4^ which were part of thofe he 
charges himfelf 6d at. — The Money paid by him 
in England at fundry Times, as charged Stirl. 
we reckon'd Exchange @ 170, as a Medium, as 
for fome of that Money he gave above L. 100 — and 
for fome others little more than 160, — and we 
have been as exad: in reckoning every thing as we 
polfibly could. — We had gone on very nigh finifliing 
when we recollecfted fome of the Money, both of 
what you received, and what he had, was due to 
you before the Partnerfhip began: This obliged 
us to have a new refearch, and a thorough new 
Examination of all the Books and Accounts, and 
dif covered, that he had received the fum of £. 246. 
4:2! of Money due to you before the Partnerihip 
began, which Sum being included already in the 
Articles of Numb, i on the Credit Side, whereby 
you are credited for one half of it, we credited the 

Partnerships, 145 

other Half at the Bottom of the General Account, 
being £.123.2:15 — Again we found of the Sums you 
had received, the fum of £.185.6:7 which belonged 
to you before the Partnerfhip began, and as you had 
been charged with the Half of that in No. 3 Debtor 
fide, fo we have credited the General Account for 
that Half £. 92.13:3! — This we thought the moft 
eligible Way, as we had already enter'd and caft 
up the Whole before: On your Confidering the 
Matter, I think you will find this to be the right, 
and perhaps the beft that could be, to fet fuch 
blend'd Accounts in the clearefl: Light. — There 
are fome of the Books and Pamphlets printed in 
the Partnerfhip unfold, fome of which he has taken 
to himfelf, and allowed for them, but fome others 
which don't appear faleable, he has left, and if 
hereafter any of them fells, he will account for 
them: — And upon the Whole, if any Miftake or 
Error fhall be hereafter difcovered on either Side, 
he is willing it fhould be redlified, — If you fliould 
return home this Spring or Summer, you can ex- 
amine any thing you fhall think wrong yourfelf : — 
As I fhall leave the final paffmg of them, till I hear 
from you, or fuch Return to do it yourfelf. 

My laft to you was from Burlington, the End of 
laft December, and beginning of January: — I came 
down here, tho' fcarce able to crawl, the i6th 
inftant, — I continued all the reft of the Month to 
proceed on with the Accounts, whenever I was able 
to flir, tho' I had a Relapfe, or rather only an In- 
creafe of the Pain, a few Days after I came, that 
rendered me unable to walk for three Days, — 
and am ftill but very poorly, — I hope to be able 
to get back again to Burlington, — as it is not com- 

146 Partnerships. 

fortable to be fick from home : — nor there neither, if 
it could be help'd. — I have now been in the Gout 
three Months, and have had it fome Days in the 
Heart and Stomach fo bad, I thought I could not 
live: — My Son been fick above three Months, — and 
he is but poorly yet, tho' he is mending, and likely to 
get well. On the Whole, this year paft has been a 
diftrelTed one with me. — But, God's Will be done. 
Mr. Foxcroft is gone to Virginie, and I have not 
heard any thing from him fmce his Departure: — 
I wifh I may hear from you, before the End of 
this Month, where I am to put the Printing- 
Materials of B. Mecom's that are now at Burling- 
ton: — I have no body there at Work, all my Boys 
being gone to New York i^ Woodbridge: And in- 
deed, I have no work there for them to do, if they 
were there: — I would immediately away to New 
York now, were I able to travel at any Rate, but 
I even fear, I fhall hardly be able to get back to 
Burlington only, as the Weather is uncomfortable: 
but I will go as foon as I can. — I think I wrote you 
before, I had fecured the Goods you fent to Mr. 
Hughes, but they are unopen'd, as I would be 
there myself. — I wrote alfo to Balfour, which I 
inclofed to you, and hope you will have received 
it: — I don't know any thing further material 
about Affairs wherein I am concerned, — And 
thofe relating to the Publick you will doubtlefs 
have from abler and better Hands — I wrote to 
B. Mecom lately, but had but a fhort Anfwer, that 
he would foon fend me the Account ^c. — I have 
wrote again — But, — I fear nothing can quicken 
his Sluggifhnefs.— I have told Holt I intend to 
come to New York, and take my Printing Office 

Partnerships, 147 

again: I don't know what he defigns: he keeps it 
fecret from me: — I heard the Gentlemen of Vir- 
ginia were trying to get a new Printer, in Oppofi- 
tion to Mr. Boyle, becaufe he declined going on, or 
was too much under the Influence of the Governor 
there: and as Green and Rind are parted. I im- 
agine Rind is the Man, and that they have bought 
the Office that was Stretch's, which by an Invoice 
I faw of it, was very compleat and good ; fo that 
if it be fo, it will be bad for Billy Hunter whether 
Boyle lives or dies: — It was reported Boyle grew 
worfe after his Return home but as we have not 
heard lately from thence, I can't fay no more 
about it, and Doubtlefs you will hear from thence 
from Mr. Foxcroft foon, who can give you a better 
Account of the Matter. 

As I am necefTarily to send you two copies of the 
Accounts yc. — fo another to the same Purpofes as 
this, I fhall leave in Mr. Hall's Hands to be for- 
warded to you, with them. Therefore, I think I can 
add no more, than all Refpedls l^c. from 

Your most obliged Servt. 

James Parker. 

P. S. Mr. Hall made fome Demands for hiring 
a Clerk: He fays he hired one at your Particular 
Requefl: @ one Time: — that he had one conftantly 
from 1753 : and for 18 Months two of 'em: never lefs 
than 20/ a Week, and great Part of the Time 25. — 
he alfo muft keep one Still, to draw out Accounts 
and get in the Money due, and thinks part of the 
Expenfe should be yours: — As the Articles were 
filent on that Stead, and my Power did not extend 
fo far, I could only refer it to you: — Two Iron 

148 Partnerships. 

Fire places of yours are left, and he having a year or 
two ago, purchafed two Cannon Stoves, he keeps 
them himfelf, as he bought them with his own Money. 

Burlington, Feb. 10. — I got as well home here as I 
expecfted: the Gout not quite left me yet. — As foon 
as my Strength will admit, I fliall fet forward for 
New York: — No Packet come in yet tho' momen- 
tarily expe(5led: — I fhall send down B. Mecom's 
Printing Office to Philadelphia, immediately, as 
Mrs. Franklin fays fhe will fee Care taken of it. 

Feb. II. — I juft now heard Mr. Holt has had an 
Execution levied on his Goods ; he does not tell me 
fo himfelf, but I have heard it, and fear its too true : 
— I believe I fhall be a far greater lofer by him, than 
you were by B. Mecom: — Its an eafy Thing to be- 
have with Fortitude, when all goes generally well : 
But I muft expedl it notwithflanding all may go 
aginft me: And indeed, I know I can't command 
Succefs in my Affairs, but as far as Refignation, and a 
Steady Diligence could deferve it, I have endeav- 
oured it: — I have fupported others and almoft 
Starv'd myfelf : but I am thankful its no worfe, and 
will ftill fay, God's will be done. 

Feb. 20. Laft night heard the Packet was come 
in, but no Letter for me, fo I now attempt to Stop : 
— I am ftill poorly with this wretched Gout, or rather 
now a real Rheumatifm, as it takes all my Bones. — 
Hope only remains at the Bottom of Box. I long 
for my Health to go to New York, but I muft fubmit. 

One thing I forgot to mention, I muft now note — 
One box of goods fent to Mr. Hughes came by Capt. 
Tillet, — this I fuppofe is the Stationary: — this I 

Partnerships, 149 

have in my Store at New York, but I have Advice 
of another come in Capt. Berton, — which I fuppofe 
is the Electrical Machine, but as you have never fent 
a Bill of Lading for it either to Mr. Hughes or me, 
Capt. Berton won't deliver it without a Bill of 
Lading tho' I fent him word I would indemnify him 
fo he keeps it in his PofTefTion, — and I cannot de- 
mand it without a Bill ^c. 

All Mecom's materials are fent down to Phila- 


An interesting account of Franklin's last business 
relationship with a printer on a considerable scale 
is given by Livingston. It is that which relates to 
his dealings with Francis Childs, a young printer of 
New York, who had learned his trade in the shop of 
William Dunlap. Franklin, then in his seventy- 
sixth year, was in Paris as Minister to France 
when Childs first wrote to him to enlist his interest 
in the printing business which he had established on 
a frail basis in New York, and the relationship, 
which cannot certainly be called a partnership be- 
cause no definite statement appears in the cor- 
respondence of Franklin's acceptance of Childs' 
proposals, continued until a few days before Frank- 
lin's death in April, 1790. 

Franklin's experience with those who are known 
to have been his partners was almost entirely 
satisfactory to him, but that with Childs could 
hardly be so termed. Childs' letters are filled with 

ISO Typefounder, 

continual complaint of shortages in equipment of 
t3^pe sent to him from the foundry which Franklin 
had established for his grandson, Benjamin Frank- 
lin Bache, in Philadelphia, and with excuses for his 
failure to make payments as promised. A little less 
than a year before his death Franklin wrote to him 
as follows, giving a glimpse into his financial affairs 
at that late period of his life: 

"You wrote to me in December laft, that as foon 
as you returned from attending the Aflembly you 
would immediately fet out for Philadelphia in order 
to make a final Settlement of our Accounts: This 
was a Promife very agreeable to me, as my late 
heavy Expenfe in building five Houfes (which coft 
much more than I was made to exped) has fo ex- 
haufted my Finances, that I am now in real and 
great Want of Money.*' 

Franklin was able to live comfortably upon the 
annual payments by Hall and the salary received 
from the various public offices he held, although 
when Hall's payments ceased Franklin felt himself, 
as he said and was, in reduced circumstances. 

il^ © il^ l§ il^ il^ il^ il^ il^ il^ il^ Z^ Ha @ Ha h, h, i^ h^ h^ h^ % 



JN FRONT of Bartholomew Close, near Palmer's 
printing office in London, was located a type- 
foundry conducted by Thomas James, and it was to 

Typ e founder, 151 

be expected that a young man with an inquiring 
mind such as Benjamin FrankHn possessed and par- 
ticularly one with his interest in printing and every- 
thing connected with it, would be attracted to the 
foundry. There he witnessed the processes that go 
to make up the typefounder's art, the designing of 
characters, the making of molds, and the casting, 
trimming, and polishing of individual types. 

After Franklin returned to Philadelphia in 1726, 
and what he considered to be an ill turn of fortune 
obliged him again to take up the printing trade, he 
made an arrangement, as has already been stated, 
to take over the mechanical management of Samuel 
Keimer's printing establishment. There he found 
that his knowledge of typefounding, although 
limited, served him in good stead. Keim^er's type 
cases were in need of sorts, and since there was no 
place in America at which to purchase them and 
months were required to secure supplies from 
abroad, the young foreman contrived a mold, 
used the letters on hand to make puncheons, and 
with them cast type that served the purpose. 
Thus Benjamin Franklin became America's first 

It has already been related how he went as the 
employee of Keimer to Burlington, then the capi- 
tal of New Jersey, to fulfill a contract which Keimer 
had secured to print the paper money of that 
province. He says in the "Autobiography," " I con- 

152 Typefounder. 

trived a copper plate Prefs for it, the firft that 
had been feen in the Country; I cut feveral Orna- 
ments and Checks for the Bills." The press was 
probably not imposing in appearance or remark- 
able for its execution, and the design of the cur- 
rency does not show a high order of artistic ability, 
but both are important in establishing the fact that, 
in making this copper plate press, Franklin was the 
first American maker of printing presses and the 
first designer and engraver for printing purposes. 

Frankhn's interest in the building of printing 
presses was not confined to his early years at the 
business. In 1753 we find him writing to his friend 
William Strahan, of London, as follows : 

"If you can perfuade your Prefs-Maker to go out 
of his old Road a little, I would have the Ribs made 
not with the Face rounding outwards, as ufual, 
but a little hollow or rounding inwards from end to 
end; and the cramps made of hard caft Brafs, fixed 
not acrofs the Ribs, but longways, fo as to flide in 
the hollow Face of the Ribs. The reafon is, that 
Brafs and Iron work better together than Iron and 
Iron. Such a prefs never gravels; the hollow Face 
of the Ribs keep the Oil better, and the Cramps, bear- 
ing on a large Surface, do not wear, as in the com- 
mon Method. Of this I have had many years' 

One of Franklin's English friends, with whom he 
corresponded for many years, was William Caslon, 
the famous typefounder. In a letter written to 


Can^re gr»v< i Piru pour M. FRANKLIN, pit S. P. Fovkniek It jeune, 1781. 

2iuind cm ^xcellc daiu :fon t^trt, 1^ ation lu/C doivni tbwtc la -fwrfcction 
ddntcledtcofa/tli, I'on en jort en aaeiaac rrumurt, 1$ I'on ^f'i^alc a C6 
aio'U u- a de, c/cui ncl'le ^ d^ plud tcUzc. ^L/io.non Cdt un S/unVfc, 
Gladdi an f^4v^udccun , ^ l\ytuteaT de Uurdmc tdt u/n ^citc , mac^ 
KAipianard at'f.mfftanard, rdul/u/ edCjrallu,, l^ Comcc/U (dtCcmcc/U^^ 
jCcd tJciemced ct /ej ^ytrCd aue Ion ca/-t<-v6 daru, wn (otaC dcsfiUnf u^ 
ainu dc ia- tj/atccn et^ I'edprct dcu Qaua^c'mcTrunt'. 

Type used at Passy. Livingston says it was "probably designed by Frank- 
lin himself, for use in printing important documents, which it might have 
been to the advantage of some one to counterfeit." Lower panel shows 
exact size. From specimen sheet in the Typographic Library and Museum 
of the American Type Founders Company, Jersey City, N. J. a , 

154 T^yP ^/^ under, 

Caslon in 1788 appears this paragraph voicing a 
complaint that one hears occasionally from printers 
even to this day: 

" I approve very much of your Refolution not to 
fend your Types abroad upon Credit. Their 
Excellence will fecure a fufficient Demand without 
it. Some other Britifh Founders have been fo 
extravagantly liberal in that Way, and thereby 
created fuch a Number of Mafter-Printers more 
than the Bufmefs of the Country can maintain, as 
may probably in the End be hurtful to both the 
Debtors and Creditors." 

Another typefounder friend was John Basker- 
ville, the celebrated printer and letter-founder of 
Birmingham. In a letter written in London to 
Baskerville Franklin acknowledged the receipt of 
some type specimen sheets which he promised to 
distribute among the printers of America, sending 
them by the first ship. He supposes that no orders 
for type unaccompanied by bills for money will be 
accepted, and suggests to the typefounder not to give 
credit, adding, "efpecially as I do not think it will 
be necefTary." 

He advises Baskerville that James's Foundry, a 
part of which ''among them some tolerable He- 
brews and Greeks and fome good Blacks" is to be 
sold and offers to buy whatever may be required for 
the Birmingham foundry. 

At another time Franklin wrote an amusing 

Typefounder. 155 

letter to Baskerville, giving particulars of a hoax 
he played upon a caller who had insisted that 
Baskerville's types were hard to read. This 
gentleman even predicted, as quoted by Franklin, 
that Baskerville would be "a Means of blinding all 
the Readers in the Nation; for the Strokes of your 
Letters, being too thin and narrow hurt the Eye, 
and he could never read a Line of them without 

Franklin put up a job on the critic. He stepped 
into another room, secured a Caslon type specimen 
sheet, tore off the name, and then returned and 
exhibited it to the critic as a Baskerville specimen, 
asking him to point out the deficiencies of the 
designs mentioned. "He readily undertook it," 
says Franklin, "and went over the feveral Founts 
fhowing me everywhere what he thought Inftances 
of that Difproportion ; and declar'd, that he could 
not then read the Specimen, without feeling very 
ftrongly the Pain he had mentioned to me." So 
thoroughly did he commit himself in uncon- 
sciously disproving his own theory that Franklin 
spared him the confusion of an exposure. 

Although in a letter to William Strahan in 1744, 
four years before he retired from active connection 
with his Philadelphia business, we find him ack- 
nowledging obligation "to you for your care and 
pains in procuring me the founding tools," Franklin 
seems not to have done much in the way of type- 

Set of initials cast from matrices once owned by Franklin, 
now in the possession of the Massachusetts Historical 
Society. Size within border 3!" x 5-^-^". 

Typ efo under* 1 5 7 

founding in America until his return from his long 
residence in France. There he evidently cast con- 
siderable quantities of type and is said to have de- 
signed at least one alphabet of his own, the beauti- 
ful Script letter shown on page 153. 

Livingston says of it, "This fount was probably 
designed by Franklin himself, for use in printing 
important documents, which it might have been 
to the advantage of some one to counterfeit, such 
as the Passport blank, or his commissions to com- 
manders of privateers (if such a document was 
printed by him)." 

Franklin engaged to a considerable extent in 
typefounding after his return from France, princi- 
pally with a view to setting up in business his 
grandson, Benjamin Franklin Bache. To one pur- 
chaser, Francis Childs of New York, he wrote under 
date of May 8, 1787, an interesting letter in regard 
to sorts, as follows : 

*'You are always complaining of Imperfecflions 
in the Founts, which I fuppofe to proceed from 
your not having right Ideas of that Matter. They 
were all caft after the beft Rules of the Founderies 
in England, and in the fame Proportions. But as 
the Stiles of Authors vary, and different Subjects 
ufe the different Sorts varioufly, there never could 
be a Fount fo proportion'd as to run out equally 
in all Cafes. And if whenever, in any Work, four 
or five Sorts run fhort, you caft for the Deficiency, 
in a fubfequent Work thofe Sorts, may be fuper- 

»■«»»■ « «i i »i><«*i »» * n » »«n »t <« >»«i« f >»i« n » « « <»i « n » ««n ii > «»j»«*<j»»«»» » ««j» >« i>it<ci» 


* French Canon Rom. 

* French Canon Ital. 

Frenth Canon Ital. 

Two Lines Double Pica Roi 

Two Lines Double Pica Ital. 

I Tandem aliqua f Tandem aliquand 

Two Lines Great Primer Rom. 

Tandem aliquand 

Tvjo Lines Englifi Ron. 

Tandem aliquando,Qu 

Tm Lines Pica Rom. 

Tandem aliquando.Quirites! 
L. Catilinam furentem audacia 

Douhle Pica Rom. 
Tandem aliquando, Quirites! 
L. Catilinam furentem audacia, 
fcelus anhelantem, peftem patrije 

* Double Pica Rom. 
Tandem aliquando, Quirites ! L. 
Catilinam furentem audacia, fce- 
lus anhelantem, peftem patria; ne 



5 Be^j^-mSn jI'usJlU SiUl. PRINTING OFFICE, I 

% Philadelphia. % 

\ Tandem aliq I Tandem alia | 

S French Carton Rom. 3 Frmth Canon Ital. f. 

I Tandem aliqu I Tandem aliquan | 

TWO tMttrOrtK PrtmtT Ital. 

Tandem aliquando^ 

Two Lines Englifli ItaJ. 

Tandem aliquando., i^uiri 

Two Lines Pica ItaL 

Tandem aliquando, ^irites ! L. 
Catilinam furentem audacia, fee- 

Double Pica Ital. 
Tandem aliquando, Sluirites f L. 
Catilinam furentem audacia, fce- 
lus anhelantem, peflem patri.e iief 

"Double Pica Ital. 
Tandem aliquando, Quirites ! L. 
Catilinam furentem audacia, fcelus 
anheiantem, peftem patrix nefar'ie 


jxtjXKtj^xtax^H^tati^xtiXKOj t t x OM X ti* « «»» « «<»» « «<»» « « » » >«^*^Kf:»»«<^y» 

Type specimen sheets issued by Benjamin Franklin Bache. 
Size inside the border yf " .x 14! ". 



£Ltv<!f Lines Pica. 


Nine LiNts Pica. 


Scvin Lnris Fre». 


Five Lines PicA.V^ 

Philadelphia City 

Foui Likes Pica. 


Foui Likes Pica. 


i A. Quantity of ig, l6, 13, 11, 9 & 7 Lines Picais always fo bcdifpofcd of, \ 

f at B. F. Bache's Prinilng-O^ce, Nkrket Street ; As aUo i cumber of typogfa- \ 

J phical Cuts and a great Variety of Flowers. ^ 

From the Typographic Library and Museum of the American Type 
Founders Company, Jersey City, N. J. 

i6o Typefounder, 

abundant, and all the reft will appear deficient, 
fo that there will be no End of proceeding in that 
Manner. Therefore it is, that Printers have 
lifually to every large Fount what they call a 
Bomcafe, or Fount Cafe, that is, a Cafe to hold 
thofe Sorts that are fuperfluous in one kind of Work 
and where they may be found when wanting in 
another. You remark that your now demanding 
more of fundry Sorts (after being fupply'd with all 
you formerly thought wanting) is owing partly 
to your not taking an accurate Lift of the Imper- 
fedlions at firft : and I am perfuad'd that the pref^ 
ent Lift you have fent me is far from being accurate, 
fmce it is in Pounds weight, and not in the Number 
of Letters. This lumping Method of calling for 
Sorts to fupply fuppof'd Imperfed:ions, 5 lb. of 
m's 3 lb. of s's, etc. etc. can never be accurate ; and in 
this Inftance of the Petit Romain, you may fee 
already the Effedl of fuch Inaccuracy, viz. to aug- 
ment inftead of diminifhing the Imperfections of a 
Fount; for at firft you want'd but 4 or 5 Sorts of 
the lower Cafe, and now you want 15 or 16, which 
is a great Part of the Four ^ twenty, and proves 
what I have faid above that there can be no End 
of going on in this Way. — However to oblige you, 
tho' it is much more Trouble as the Mold muft be 
adjuft'd afrefh for every little Parcel, you fhall 
have the Sorts you want if you fend a Lift of them 
in Numbers. My Grandfon will caft them, as 
foon as he has taken his Degree and got clear of the 
College; for then he purpofes to apply himfelf 
clofely to the Bufinefs of Letter founding and this 
is expect'd in July next. You fhall alfo have some 
W's of a better form for the Pica as you defire. 

The Private Press at Passy, i6i 

And I will willingly receive the Petit Canon again 
which you propofe to return." 

To his grandson, who was twenty-one years of 
age at the time of his death, Franklin left "all 
the Types and Printing Materials which I now 
have in Philadelphia with the complete Letter 
Foundry, which, in the whole, I suppofe to be 
worth near one thoufand Pounds." 

i^ il^ il< it^ # it< it^ it^il^ Z^ Z^ it< i|t ^4 ^4 ^^ n, @ n, n, n, n^ 

C H A P. X V. 

The Private Press at Passy. 

"DENJAMIN FRANKLIN sailed from Phila- 
delphia on his mission as one of the three 
comjnissioners to France, October 27, 1776. He 
landed nearly two months later, proceeded imme- 
diately to Paris, and soon had established himself 
in the Hotel de Valentinois, in Passy, a village 
between Paris and Versailles, at which latter place 
the headquarters of the French government was 
located. The growth of Paris in the direction of 
Versailles in the years that have intervened has 
swallowed up the village of Passy, and the Hotel 
de Valentinois long since disappeared. A replica 
of Boyle's statue of Franklin in front of the post- 
office on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia has 
been placed in that part of Paris which once was 

1 62 The Private Press at Passy, 

Passy on the Rue Franklin, so named because of 
Franklin's residence there. 

He used the residence for eight and a half years, 
and it comes within the scope of the present vol- 
ume because during practically all of that time he 
operated in it a printing equipment for the pro- 
duction of leaflets, broadsides, etc., some of them 
for practical use, but mostly for the amusement 
of himself and his friends. 

Franklin's biographers have had little to say 
about the press at Passy. William Temple Frank- 
lin dismisses it with the single sentence, *' Not- 
withstanding Dr. Franklin's various and important 
occupations, he occasionally amused himself in 
composing and printing, by means of a small set 
of types and a press he had in his house, several 
of his light essays, bagatelles, or jeux d'esprity 
written chiefly for the amusement of his intimate 

Edward Everett Hale in his two volumes, 
"Franklin in France," says: "Franklin soon es- 
tablished in his own house at Passy a little printing 
establishment, from which occasionally a tract or 
handbill was issued. From this press the pre- 
tended 'Independent Chronicle,' with an account 
of Indian scalping, was issued, and the little books 
published here are among the treasures most de- 
sired by the connoisseurs." 

Professor Smyth makes only one important 





IVl ANY Perfons in Europe having direftly or by 
Letters, exprefs'd to the Writer of this, who is 
well acquainted with North-America, their Defire 
of tranfporting and eflablishing themfelves in thac 
Country ; but who appear to him to have formed 
thro* Ignorance, miftaken Ideas gc Expedations o£ 
what is to be obtained there ; he thinks it may be 
ufeful, and prevent inconvenient, expenfive & fruit- 
lefs Removals and Voyages of improper Perfons, if 
he gives fome clearer & truer Notions of that Pare 
of the World than appear to have hitherto pre- 

He finds it is imagined by Numbers that the In- 
liabitants of North -America are rich, capable of 
rewarding, and difpos'd to reward all forts of 
Ingenuity ; that they are at the fame time ignoranc 
of all the Sciences ; & confequently that Grangers 
poffeirmg Talents in the Belles-Letters, fine Arts, Jkc. 
muft be highly efleemed, and fo well paid as to 
become eafily rich themfelves ; that there are alfo 
abuadance of profitable Offices to be difpofed of, 


First page of a twelve-page pamphlet printed at Passy. 
Exact size. 
From " Franklin and His Press at Passy." 

164 The Private Press at Passy, 

reference to the press in Passy: "Sometimes they 
were printed upon his private press at Passy, in 
Hmited editions of perhaps a dozen or fifteen 
copies. Nearly all are lost. The fictitious * Sup- 
plement' exists in the Library of Congress and the 
Library of the American Philosophical Society, 
and the latter collection has also the printed orig- 
inal of *La Belle et la Mauvaise Jambe' (Passy, 
1779). But the other fugitive leaves have dis- 

It remained for the late Luther S. Livingston 
in his beautiful volume, " Franklin and His Press 
at Passy," privately published by the Grolier 
Club in 1914, to present a nearly complete account 
of the printing done at the Hotel de Valentinois. 

Livingston describes fifteen "bagatelles," four- 
teen of which, each a separately printed piece, are 
bound together in a little volume in the Franklin 
collection of William Smith Mason. He says, 
"three of these are sixteen pages each, one is of 
twelve pages, two of eight pages, one of six pages, 
one of four pages, and six of two pages (or a single 
leaf) each. The fifteenth is a single sheet printed 
on one side only, among the Franklin papers in 
the Library of the American Philosophical Society 
in Philadelphia. 

William Temple Franklin was too much of a 
dandy to think of giving his time and attention to 
such trivial matters as setting type and working 

The Private Press at Passy, 165 

a press. A younger grandson, Benjamin Franklin 
Bache, was of a different mold. It was the grand- 
father's intention to bring the younger boy up in a 
way that would fit him for public business, but 
evidently reflection upon his own personal experi- 
ence of the limited financial return to be derived from 
such a career caused him to change his mind, for we 
find him writing to the boy's father that he had de- 
termined to teach him a trade, that "he may have 
fomething to depend on, and not be oblig'd to 
afk Favours or Offices of anybody." Franklin 
further said, "he has already begun to learn the 
bufinefs from Mafters who come to my Houfe, 
and is very intelligent in working and quick in 

This reference is confirmed by an entry in Ben- 
jamin Franklin Bache's diary to the effect that a 
"mafter founder" had come to Passy to teach him 
to cast printing types and that the teacher was to 
remain all winter. A later entry says that M. 
Didot, whom he describes as "the beft printer of 
this age and even the beft that has ever been feen," 
had consented to take him into his house for some 
time in order to teach him his art. The statement 
is made that in the house is combined "engraving, 
the forge, the foundry, and the printing office." 
A further reference in the diary, dated April 5^ 
1785, to M. Didot's establishment, is to the effect 
that "the meals are frugal." 

1 66 Advertiser and Propagandist, 

It has already been noted that William Temple 
Franklin referred to his grandfather's equipment as 
'*a small set of types," which does not agree with a 
reference Benjamin Franklin made to it in a letter 
he wrote to Francis Childs after his return to 
Philadelphia, in which he said: *'My printing 
Materials, confifting of a great variety of founts, 
were fent down the Seine fome weeks before I left 
PalTy." Livingston's investigations indicate that 
the equipment was a considerable one. Much 
correspondence with French typefounders, among 
them the famous house of Fournier, has been 
brought to light, and unless the type purchased was 
disposed of in ways not known and not now 
ascertainable, the supply must have been a large 
one. There is also some evidence to war- 
rant the belief that two printing presses were 

i^ i^ it^ il^ il^ il^ it* it^ il^ it^ il^ Z^ il^ # Za h, h, h^ h^ $§ n^ n^ 


Advertiser and Propagandist, 

Tj^RANKLIN is sometimes spoken of as the first 
American advertiser, but there is no special 
reason for such a designation. The " Pennfylvania 
Gazette" under his ownership contained more 
advertising than it did under that of Samuel 
Keimer and more than was common to the other 

Advertiser and Propagandist. 167 

colonial newspapers, but the circumstance is to be 
accredited rather to the enlarged circulation of 
the "Gazette," owing to its superiority as a news- 
paper, than to any particularly effective manner of 
promoting the advertising department. 

Franklin himself was far from being a self- 
advertiser. Excepting for the statement of his 
public services that he prepared for the Conti- 
nental Congress, he never made any claims for him- 
self. Throughout his long career he was almost 
continually in the public service, but he never 
sought office or made anything like a special effort 
to obtain it. Although a seemingly indefatigable 
writer, he never issued so much as a single vol- 
ume of his literary productions and on at 
least one occasion discouraged others from doing 

He did, however, advertise occasionally for him- 
self or the members of his family. The following 
examples show that to them, as to all other things 
with which he had to do, he imparted a measure 
of originality. 

^AKEN out of a Pew in the Church 
-■- fome months fince, a Common Prayer Book, 
bound in red, gilt, and lettered D. F. [Deborah 
Franklin] on each cover. The Perfon who took 
it is del. red to open it and read the eighth Com- 
mandment, and afterwards return it into the 
fame Pew again, upon which no further Notice 
will be taken. 

1 68 Advertiser and Propagandist, 

ALL Persons indebted to Benj Frank- 
lin, Printer of this Paper, are defired to fend 
in their refpective Payments: (Thofe Subscribers 
for the News excepted, from whom a Twelve- 
Month's Pay is not yet due). 

Gentlemen, it is but a little to each oj you, though 
it will be a conjiderahle Sum to me; and lying in 
many hands wide from each other, {according to the 
Nature of our Bujinefs) it is highly inconvenient 
and Jcarce practical for me to call upon every One; 
I fhall therefore think myfelf particularly obligedy 
and take it very kind of thofe, who are mindful to 
fend or bring it in without further Notice. 

Franklin's English is a model for advertisement 
writers. Simplicity was its chief characteristic. 
He had the faculty of putting the most thought 
into the fewest words, extravagance in language 
being the target of one of his chief animadver- 
sions. Writing to John Jay from Paris in 1780 he 
says : 

"Mrs. Jay does me much Honor in defiring to 
have one of the Prints, that have been made here of 
her Countryman. I fend what is faid to be the 
beft of five or fix engraved by different Hands, from 
different Paintings. The Verfes at the Bottom are 
truly extravagant. But you muft know, that the 
Defire of pleafmg, by a perpetual Rife of Com- 
pliments in this polite Nation, has fo ufed up all the 
common exprefTions of approbation, that they are 
become flat and infipid, and to ufe them almoft 
implies Cenfure. Hence mufic, that formerly 
might be fufficiently praifed when it was called 




Nature and Necejfity 

O F A 


Quid afper 

Vtik Nimmus hahet ; patri^y cbarifq-j propmquis 
^^af;tum elargiri dcceat, -1— 



Printed and Sold at the New PRINTING- 
OFFICE, near the Market. 17^9- 

Franklin's initial effort in propagandist literature, which resulted in the 
issuance of thirty thousand pounds in paper currency bj' the governor and the 
assembly of the province of Pennsylvania in defiance of orders from England 
to the contrary. Size 3" x 5I". "" 

170 Advertiser and Propagandist, 

bonne, to go a little farther they call excellente, then 
fuperhe, magnifique, exquife, celefte, all which being 
in their turns worn out, there only remains divine: 
and, when that is grown as infignificant as its 
PredeceflTors, I think they muft return to common 
fpeech and common fenfe ; as, from yying with one 
another in fine and coftly Paintings on their 
Coaches, fmce I firft knew the Country, not being 
able to go farther in that Way, they have returned 
lately to plain Carriages, painted without arms or 
figures in one uniform color." 

Franklin's studies in the art of expression both as 
a youth and practically throughout his whole life 
were pursued with one purpose in mind, to in- 
fluence those who read what he wrote. He had the 
admirable quality of vision — to be able always to 
see into things further than did those about him, 
and seeing clearly he desired others to do likewise. 
As a youth he practised the Socratic method, but 
later abandoned it for plain, substantial statements 
of arguments and facts. Later in life he sometimes 
employed the dialogue. 

Every public project, such as paving, cleaning, 
and lighting the streets, establishing a fire com- 
pany, hospital, public library, or university, brought 
forth an article from Franklin's pen published 
either in the "Gazette," or as a pamphlet, always 
interestingly and, as events proved, effectively 

In his later years Franklin adopted another 


Serious Considerations 

On the Present State of the 


Province of PENNSTLVANlA, 

By a Tradesman of Philadelpbia, 

_.J'-nA ^ /3an/^rn/f^Hfn A/tit A./. 

Cttfta urht, nihil fit riliqui •uiSis, Sett, ftr Deoi tmmfrtalet, nin 
tgo apfello, qui ftmper iomos, 'villa!, figna, tahulas •vejlras, tan- 
tit oftitHalicnii fecijiii ; fi ifla, cujufcumque modifint, qnte am-' 
flexamim, rttintrt, fi loluptatihus •vefirii otium pnebere <vultis t 
t,xptrgifcimini aliquando, {5* cafejpte rempublicam. Ncn agitur 
nunc dt fociorum itguriis ; LiszuT as (jf AritUA, nofira in du- 
bio ift. Dux hoftium cum exercitu 'fiipra capuPtft. Vos cun3amini 
etiam nunc, (^ duiitatis quid faciatii f Scilicet, res ipfa ajperm 
tfi, fed vos non timelis earn. Imt vera tnaxume ; fed inertia (S 
tnollilia animi, alius alium txfpeSantes, cunSamini ; 'videlicet^ 
Diis imtnortaliiuj confifi, qui banc rempublicam in maxvmis peri- 
adii fervavere. NoN VoTis, neciue Suppliciis MrfiiE* 
BR.1BWS, AuxiLlA DeoRUM parantur : vigilando, agen- 
da, bene confulendo, profpere omnia ceduni. XJli focordia tete at- 
{jue ignatiiit tradideris, nequicquam Deos implores ; irati, infefiif 
qut funt. M. PoK. Cat. in Salust. 

Printed in the Year MDCCXLVU. 

The pamphlet written by Franklin that caused the inhabitants of east- 
ern Pennsylvania, despite the protests of the Quakers, to put them- 
selves in a state of defense against France and Spain. Original in the 
possession of the Curtis Publishing Company, Philadelphia. Size 3I" x 

172 Advertiser and Propagandist, 

propaganda method, that of the hoax. Balzac 
termed him "the inventor of the Hghtning rod, the 
hoax, and the repubUc." A notable example was 
entitled "An Edict of the King of Pruflia," in 
which the claim of the King, because of early Ger- 
man settlements upon the island, to a right to hold 
England as a German province and to lay taxes 
upon its inhabitants, was supported by the same 
kind of argument by which the ministry of George 
the Third attempted to justify its claim in respect 
to the American Colonies. 

Another hoax took the form of a letter from a 
Hessian ruler to his representative in America, 
where Hessian soldiers were employed by Great 
Britain to fight against the colonial army, in- 
structing him not to be too careful of their lives on 
the ground that more money was paid by England 
for dead soldiers than for those who fought and re- 
turned alive. 

The most notable effort of the kind, however, was 
one intended to bring home to the people of Great 
Britain the horrors of warfare as conducted by the 
allies of the British soldiers, the Indians, in Amer- 
ica. It was issued from the Private Press at 
Passy, as a pretended "Supplement to the Bofton 
Independent Chronicle'* and purported to be "an 
extract of a letter from Captain Gerrifh of the New 
England militia." It gave particulars of eight 
large packages of scalps taken by the Seneca 

Kumb. 70J. 

U P P L E M 

E N T 



BOSTON, Much ii. 
Ev"*/" ■■/ o tc'i^rfmiH Cdfi. OorilK, cf lA: Ncw'.£r>Iu<l Mi- 

fc— — ^^HK Peluy lakm ia iho Fjcpwdiiicin ( 5« the At^tunl rf 
X i/.e £\j-(7ru'.'« ro Ofw.^ichic m (** Kivtr ii. L*i»- 

f »imJ dhij of Money. I Iw PolTcCon of tUii Booty u fitft raw ui ri.-»-, 
fuie ; b«it n'; wci.' fU-jck \v\:h Honor 10 find unoof tn.- Packifn, 
t Uritt onnfOr.uln.Bt SCAil'S of <-.uj unhappy Coumiy^Jlu, 
;Aka\ in 'h.- ijirc. lart Vcaft'by (h.- Sv-nncVt Indilov ftoffl th.- Iriia',.;.' 
nnit of ihc 1 roiiiicii of N>«-Voik. N<?tr-jcHW, PaDryhinli. a.'>4 
Viff inia. ■ i(<!\t by ih^tn a* a Prrfcut 10 CoL Haldunand, (itrviTnor 
cf Cana&a, in cii;i in be by him tTanfmitted 10 hnjland. Th.-y wtf»' 
&t:coupnt;d ly th.r^IIouin£cuj<ouiL«ua to ih^l CaiUcu.% 

.V-jy i* plmfe your E,zett/cMfy, T<«w. y«». ;J. irSz^ 

•' Al ih: Ktfi]u.-?tof ih; S,-nnvka Chi . fs I ffl»dh.'KVith 16 youl K^ 

tz'tUrnfy. v\i^-i ihg Ctrv ot .\Matn Boyd, c*Rht Pacha of .'%fa]f^ tutM. 

dii 'd, nonpitj and vainl.^ with aU ih^- Isdjan uitfD^hlt hU/ka, v/ 

U'hivhtI>.loJh.wing i> Inroiw: and Ixplanaiiftfl. 

•<g. I. Coruinirf 4, Scalp* of ( > jTjfi SoWim kilWla <!iffc...-til 
SkiiriilK^i fhX- arc Arclchcd nn black HoApt, 4lnchvadia- 
r>.-i;r; thw inf.dc of Ihe .^ktn caialL-d r«L «-)ih a fna:! bU&k 
ipol 10 ocl.- ihdr Win; kill.-j « iih if<illc:>. /,h'<t> a of I ar- 
m.r>, kill.'d in ih.'ii Houf J ; i)m Hoop, r.d : th.- Skin |'iini.4 
biou-n, and muk.-d niih a Uoj; ablatk Li-ct: all lound. M 
t:.'aMc ih.-ii biinf rurpiir.-din th« Night ; 1;^ atWk Hai^kcf 
JM.'l.' .Mid,n.'.f>|;n'ryi ;>{ llvui brin; lulL^j with that « .«r^. 

S'o. I. Oi'laininc •!; of Turn^n klllH in tbor Houf.t 1 HmO > 1. di 
1 iruicuf a Hoi in maik rtof./Tion ! pr-al n bit, I iul/ 
■ ndSun.lolhn'lhcywnc fuiptifodialK; l~lyi:n.c; iliiilj 
i.-H Icoi, ro fhcw titry ftnod^ir V^.^ne, al4 di^ 
fi^hii-ii; fnr thvii LivTv t-yd i aaiiin. 

No. J. ('iin); py t^ fana-TK Hoo,M pctn. In fluAa- Ih.-y n\-?j 
kill^.dij.ih;>iFkldi : • lar)ti « kite ( iicle » iih link: ixod 
Mark 0-1 ii for th.- Sun, to Qkw 'hat ii la-la in itw lijy^iaut 
b!a.-k P.-lU^eaik on fosM, Hauh-jt o« oihen. 

Ko. 4. ( xntai.-in? ica of farnKit. Kii.-d • f tk<: fvir.-ial Muka'allH^i 18 .jikcdu iih t litrL- y,ll-r=r flaif* inil aoi.- lli.-ii b.- 
Injof l-iiru-i.7.l™rn€ ili%». ifM bair, fcalp.«l, lK.<tl VaiK 
pvll.i! our by the Kcom udoiltj Toisuiia : in. of ilef,- la-> 
ICI fuppoft^ to be of I rebel CL-rjrp^u kil hwd btirj 
filed 10 the Hocpof hi] Scalp. Moftof tbc Falla^-r^af p.-^rby 
rheHair to have teen >-ow*fOf tLiddle-lTtfd Mv-n ; fh,-K- b,-h:f 
but £7 vziy pry Heada uacmg tbem ill ; « Wuh Brak4-> ih.* 
Service owe eifraiial. 

ti'a, I- Conliinin^ SS Sealpi of 7oaien 1 Uab bii{. bnid,.d in th - In- 
dian K;thion. to ftew they w^n k1otK-n ; Hoo{-a blu^ ; >kla 
yi-I!ow Orourd, u-itkliille rtdTadpokatorefr.-f-nl. t y «-ly 
i^Triuirf h. thel'ein or Grief oeei/>o«ed to 'hctr Kj4»l>wvt 
a blKk finfeing Knif- or Hinh,-i at th? Koreom, tnii,jik i\.i, 
tnrrkilUdu-jihihorelsanunenti. lyoikta. flail <,-iy|ii-vi 
black Hoop« ; plain branin Colour -. no Ullk bur the Ihort < 1- b 
or ( alttcri. 10 Ou-^- tbcy wefc kiioekjd dou-a d<«d, pr bad 
their Braink beat ajt. 

ho. 6, Coi-iaioinf ipj Boyr' Scalpi, of wim- *f..\ 1 frill jr,->-» 
l^oopa ; u-hiiilk Ground on rhe Skin, h iih red Tc^» ij« rbe 
»1i idle, a.-.d blaek Bulki-Bukt, Knif.-, HaKM, or Uib, n 
th;ir IVa-ht happened. 

Ho. 7. a II Gill,' Scalpi. bi| and Uitle : (xil\ yJl-n. Umn ; la fiiie 
Ground ; Teai. . Hatcher, Club, fcalpini Krife, Re. 

No. 8. Thii Packife ii a M.itui-.- of all ih:Vari.iie< abm .^neniof 'd, 
10 the Number of > a t ; with a Pox nf Birch Kark, cnniaininf 
'0 litllc InfinK" ScBlpa of virioui Siees ; fiaill whit - Hno'^• * 
white Ground i no Tear,; md ..hIy a liiiL- bisek Kr.jfe in 
the ilhddJe, lo flicw they were ript out of their' .M»ih,-r.f 

With ihcf .- Packi, ihe Oiiefi fend to your l-icen,-ncy the fellem inf 
.V^ih.d.Ucicd by Conekigatchie in Council, initrprilcd by iheelder 
sluore. ihj Traoer, aad taken dow-n by DC in C^ritinf. 

Vc n-ilh )-oii to f,-nd iVTe Scalp* over rhe Taler 10 tin jreal Kinp, 
ihji he may r.pard ih:m and b; refrelh.d ; indilul he ma/ fc- r>ur 
r.iihfuln.f, ,i< d>-:lroy.nj hii fnemm. and be ciinviflcoi thai h-i 
rrvf.nt, h^,,- -ini bv-cn made lounffiaielul Peopl*. 
/i title n/ii ivA;ic Bill iviiA ret TaSUt. 
/.llcnd « U hit I itn now- pjinn to fay : it ii 1 Matter of irueh 
»ci;ht. l Iv prat King'i I- n,-ml,i are many, md ikey (trotv (M In 
nKsbi;r.7 bey v,tK fonaerly dec younj rinlhaa ; they COuld nei- 

OOThin- ihcy COuU do 10 ui. Hut nfm Ihtir l'.«li,^ art b,.C"n>.. blk 
»k the >1k, and drone a» the Buffalu : ih.-y have alfo jm ^.reat »r5 
ftarp Cla\i-». They have driven i»,oulor i>ur (Vjnliy f^r Iw-.rj 
Varlinynuf Quiml. Veerp.rt il,o-rLai Ki.-gu illpuex. < v,i!-.. 
Oni-ilry-. ihit cur Cfiildi,-n .iiay I^e aficr u., a-id U ht, Fn . r.d, aim. 
Childnm, a( w-e are. Say thia Utt ua !■> i.Sj ti:zx Kiee. Ti, csfurca it 

' li rrear ii-Ailt tdl wilh Hat Tijilu 

Vc hlvJonly lu fa-,- faiiher iliat vour Tiad." eittt mnr,- than e*. : f.. 
llieir CM-da : and oer Hu-lting a lefrer.ed by the Var. fn |K.'.| ue 
have fci«-er Skint 10 give for them. Thiitiiii:* ui. Think of fom^AiMi 
piecy. U e aji* p>H>r ; and yr>u have Plenry Of e\eiy 1 hinf . V o 
linu»- you will fend u. IWdet and Guns ladXni\e» indHu- 
ih.-la; but w-e alfo w-»nl Sliin* a.tdilliiik,-tt* 

A hilt uUit Wi. 
I d'» nnr doubt but thai ynur laeclVr-cy will ihint if ffps* t.-i 
fivv fnme ririh.-r I'ocnuriperevnt to ihnfe hnaell Po-pl., In, h:eb 
Piic,-. 1(1.7 ermpliin if. areihen.e,iraivk./.-ci.,fih.-«ar. » initeiel. 
ri.-f,e.l» iriy he f.nt l.;r them th.o-jjh my Hmdr. P.lll be eSl'.ib.t.-i 
^^tuU-p^euceudnUvlliy. 1 h.i<c-i.- H<.n<<ur i.f beinK 
Vour hjw.lLncv'a nwrt uh,-di.Tt 

AcJ .n/ni humbr- 'i^ns^t. 


Irw-u?t fifft profofcif to lury there .^caliH: but l:,*jt-nantrii». 
0,1.1^ v.hoyoufci<w haayoi lxa\-e M'Atf.-nceto||n fer I.Tlandou 
It*. ( livate .•■ffaiia. f.»it! he iliouphi it bvitn ih,y (liruW rioe.-.-d t» 
lVillM<ira<io<i:lndiflh,'yw,Ti-pi>rntnhim. li.'u,HiUi.r.ll,Tiake 
ep carry ih.-tti 10 Fjtpland and hanf ih.-m all up in ftinv- daik Kipl-.l 
«Mlh. rie.-.inlil...tniii'. lark. « here h;r.\nfm!ii the 
kii-f t-dCSi vn"> I alae.i in ih. >.i.rrinr . I.« ihat Ih.- e;,!,! „t iK.t„ 
l«(hlp-ihap.tli'.i.-Mul.yllkn^>;n)>.iihr-.inei »«.- 
l^-wiw el lonlei^nfe. Th,y w.te jeei-ijinaly d- lit. red 1., I"i e, 
.nj be kia bre-jcn: iVtti fif. hiih.r. Tn.mnrn.n thy lo « i'h hii 
Baf , ve i « '. ai'fnn lui Bulko, and u ill pratibly lie ihj. A 1 (.v 


ROSTOV. Mireh.^ 

Rfi.nJiy la/l aivfy>-d here IJCTjterant Fit/cenU il-e^in.ent(oajd, 
and Vrf..ii.y ihe « atpm » iib ihe' Seal.-.- 1 tn^fiac. oTr-eph- 
irelkxkint ior,yih.-Tsihi. Xlefiirc. and all .Vntiihi-eefull «( 1 a.- 
ciatiook. Hainf ih,-mtn ihe Tie.a i» not approved. It i r- w i-t«-(<^jd 
In vaVelK mLf in dvreniCilIe l'ack.4v ard ''irv'C 'hcmioftcto 
iK- kil;/. leei'aieiflg a Sample rf.-i-eTV ?nrr f- r Km Wuf.t e» - tTie to 
ll*? <J«v%a. w-'ih foow-rf V-nicii and CirL-OildTea ; 'h- *ell -nbe 
dmiibuipd lorng bcfh Houfes of t'ailiune&I i a Ajubja Quvvuty Ur 


A convenient Tan-Yard, lying in Mcdfield, 

r- ;^-ro,l KnjJ. Haifa .MiL- from ll-e .Meelirp-Houf.^ Wllh a pi.oc' 
I>n-.|i-n;-Hoi,feanaham, a-.d abn-ji icAcn.of Land. cn-.fijl.ii|tcf 
.«n. ir.;. I lov.-i. p, vidPaAui'u'e. and an eitcIL-nl Oi;hard. Foi fu,- 

lh.-rlarTi;.larien :uirf.<. Vaml'clet>,ontl,ePreinife>. 


A large Trail of L A N D, lying partly in 

Olford. and panlv in Chaillon. i- iK- (^^ortv ..f loicell.r. It .. (ilu- 
ai.-d on a j^-ai Co'uniry HojJ. about Ha'l" a Mile from Chjrlinn .Meci- 
ing-Houfc. a-id U capable nf raakin:; a ^'uob^rn^fi-leSetlL-JK^l^. For 
further Ptiiiculai. cnuuiie of .IcupK Eli-iey, of Salem, or tXiAoi Sa- 
muel Uar.h.ilh. of Hofto-i. ^^___ 

aTI Perfons indebted to, or that have any 

Demand. on, ihe lilale of Richaid Gieenkraf. late of Newbuiy-Pori, 
>r.l-. de-eeafed. aie r.iiu.(\ed to biirg in their Accr.e-nr. m Mnfo f la- 
/K-r and Mary Cieenleaf. txcculoi. lo ih.- Ijrt 1 .11 led Tellanwnt ol 
lhedeceifi.-d,foT an in-juedialeS\t[l.fneri. 


A fmall new Brick H O U S E, tTO Rooms 

on a Flor. 11 iV,. S.1-1K Pan o f iheTovi-n.— tn.luir.of ih- fij-ur. 

Strayed or ftolen from the Subfcriber, 

. * - . n u _!.. .e. . e V _IJ -n — 1... -..lie.- 

The "scalp " hoax. Written by Franklin and printed at Passy, Orig- 
inal in the possession of the Curtis Publishing Company, Phila- 
delphia. Size Sir' X I2l^§". 

174 Advertiser and Propagandist, 

Indians from the inhabitants of the states of New 
York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and 
sent by them as a present to the governor of Canada 
to be transmitted by him to England. Package 
No. I was said to contain forty-three scalps of 
soldiers, Nos. 2, 3, and 4, two hundred and ninety- 
seven of farmers; No. 5, eighty-eight scalps of 
women, and Nos. 6, 7, and 8, those of boys and 
girls, with twenty-nine infants' scalps of various 

Some of Franklin's hoaxes were for amusement 
purposes primarily, although each usually had a 
moral of its own. One such was the famous 
"Parable of Persecution," written in biblical 
phraseology as the last chapter of Genesis, in which 
was contrasted man's inhumanity to man because 
of differences in religious belief with the patience of 
the Heavenly Father in passing judgment upon his 
children. Franklin memorized the chapter and it 
was his habit in the presence of ecclesiastics 
and others versed in the Scriptures to turn the 
conversation to it, then to pick up the Bible and 
to pretend to read it to them, to their wonder and 
often confusion because of the lack of previous 
knowledge of its existence as a chapter of the 

An article published in the "Public Advertifer" 
of London, while Franklin was resident agent for 
the colonies there, entitled "Rules bv Which a 






In a Letter to a Friend in theCou.ntri 



printed By w. bunLap. m, dcc, txry. 

A political pamphlet written by Franklin advocating the chang- 
ing of Pennsylvania from a proprietary province to a royal 
colony. Original in the possession of the Curtis Publishing 
Company, Philadelphia. Size 35" x 6g". 

176 Advertiser and Propagandist, 

Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One," 
was not exactly a hoax but it carried indirectly 
a message that could not have been presented so 
effectively in any other way. There were twenty 
of the rules and they prescribed the exact course 
of conduct that Great Britain was at the time pur- 
suing in connection with her colonies. 

At a time such as the present when honesty in 
advertising and merchandizing is so much under 
discussion, and when Truth is the slogan upon 
the banner behind which associations of advertis- 
ing men are marching, it is interesting to find a 
discussion of the subject of truth, or rather its 
antithesis, *' lying," in the "Gazette" of the 
later months of 1730. One of the issues con- 
tains an editorial in which this statement is 
made : 

"There are a great many Retailers, who falfely 
imagine that being Hiftorical (the modern phrafe 
for Lying) is much for their Advantage; and fome 
of them have a Saying, That 'tis a Pity Lying is a 
Si7i, it is fo ufeful in Trade." 

The editorial discusses the matter for more 
than a page and in a later issue appear two let- 
ters, one of which, signed "Shopkeeper," says in 

" Sir, I am a Shopkeeper in this City, and I fup- 
pofe am the Person at whom fome Reflecflions are 

The first American Cartoon. 

Drawn by Franklin and published in the "Pennsylvania Gazette,' 

May 9, 1754. 

A flag designed by Franklin 

for the Pennsylvania " Associators," 1747. From 

Ford's "The Manv-Sided Franklin." 

178 The First American Humorist. 

aimed in one of your late Papers. . . . Shop- 
keepers are therein accused of Lying, as if they 
were the only Perfons culpable, without the leaft 
Notice being taken of the general Lying practif'd 
by Cuftomers. They will tell a hundred Lies to 
undervalue our Goods, and make our Demands ap- 
pear Extravagant." 

The other letter "from a Merchant" pointed 
out that not only do shopkeepers he when they 
sell but also when they themselves go out to 

In 1754 Great Britain and France were at war. 
A weakness of the Colonies consisted in the fact that 
they were disunited and this weakness Benjamin 
Franklin pointed out in the "Gazette" with a sug- 
gestion as to how the difficulty might be overcome. 
He illustrated his arguments with an engraving of a 
drawing of a serpent cut into pieces, each piece 
bearing the initials of the name of one of the Colonies, 
and beneath it the warning caption "Join, or Die." 
Thus he became the first American cartoonist. 

€' v^« i^^ €' €' €' C' v|' €' t^ v|4 1^ ^|i % C' €' €' €' % €' i^s €' 


The First American Humorist. 

T^NGLISH literature of the eighteenth century 

abounds in humor, wit, and satire, all produced 

in England itself. The writings of Addison, Swift, 

The First American Hmnorist. 179 

Steele, and Pope, to mention only four of the bril- 
liant essayists and satirists of the time, furnished 
abundant entertainment for their own age and the 
ages which have followed it; but in America 
literary production of a lighter vein in the Eigh- 
teenth Century is to be found only in the works of 
Benjamin Franklin. There it bubbles forth as 
continuously and as refreshingly as water from a 
hillside spring. 

James Parton quotes David Hume as having said 
that a disposition to see things in a favorable light is 
a turn of mind it is more happy to possess than to be 
born to an estate of ten thousand a year. Ben- 
jamin Franklin had the turn of mind that not only 
enabled him to see things in the most favorable 
light but so to present them to others that they, too, 
could have the same privilege. 

His sense of humor developed early, in support 
of which assertion may be quoted an incident re- 
lated by William Temple Franklin. It was the 
custom of Josiah Franklin to say long graces before 
and after meals, a circumstance that proved irk- 
some to the younger element in the family. One 
autumn day after the winter's provisions had been 
stored away, young Benjamin suggested to his 
father that if he would " say grace over the whole 
cask, once for all, it would be a vast saving of 

The first of his literary efforts, the "Silence 

i8o The First American Humorist. 

Dogood" papers, produced when he was a boy in 
his teens and offered anonymously as contributions 
to his brother's newspaper, evidence this gift of 
humor in an engaging manner. Exhumed by 
Professor Smyth from the dusty pages of the "New 
England Courant," they make good reading even 
at this late day. 

"Poor Richard's Almanack" sprang into aston- 
ishing popularity because the sound sense of its 
aphorisms was expressed in such quaint humor and 
entertaining wit. Some of the humor was coarse, 
belonging rather to the age of Francois Rabelais 
than to that of Oliver Wendell Holmes, but enough 
remains that may be repeated in polite society to 
make Franklin still the most quoted humorist in 
American literature. 

Humor began to show itself in the columns of the 
" Pennfylvania Gazette" as soon as Franklin took 
hold of it. A correspondent asked : " I am courting 
a girl I have but little Acquaintance with. How 
fliali I come to a Knowledge of her Faults and 
whether fhe has the Virtues I imagine fhe has." 
Franklin replied, "Commend her among her female 

His tendency always to see the humorous side of 
a situation sometimes got him into difficulties. 
"Andrew Miller, Peruke-maker, in Second Street, 
Philadelphia, takes Opportunity to acquaint his 
Cuftomers, that he intends to leave off the Shaving 

The First American Humorist. 1 8 1 

Bufinefs after the 22d of AuguO: next," was an 
advertisement appearing in the "Pennfylvania 
Gazette" that occasioned a letter from Mr. Frank- 
lin addressed to himself on the subject of "Shavers 
and Trimmers," in which occurred the statement: 
*' If we would know why the Barbers are fo eminent 
for their Skill in Politicks, it will be necelTary to lay 
afide the Appellation of Barber and confine our- 
felves to that of Shaver and Trimmer, which will 
naturally lead us to confider the near Relation 
which fubfifts between Shaving, Trimming and 
Politicks, from whence we fliall difcover that 
Shaving and Trimming is not the Province of the 
Mechanic alone, but that there are their feveral 
Shavers and Trimmers at Court, the Bar, in Church 
and State." The article went on to consider the 
matter of shaving and trimming, particularly trim- 
ming, from every angle, evidently very much to the 
dissatisfaction of Mr. Miller, for in the next number 
of the "Gazette" appears an explanation from the 
editor. But, although it contains the statement, 
" I have no real Animofity againft the perfon whofe 
Advertifement I made the motto of my paper" the 
explanation could not have been satisfactory to 
any one able to read between the lines. 

In 173 1 Franklin printed an announcement of the 
sailing of a ship for Barbadoes at the bottom of 
which was this postscript: "N. B. No Sea Hens 
nor Black Gowns will be permitted on any Terms." 

1 82 The First American Humorist. 

*' Black Gowns," it seems, had reference to the 
clergy, some of whom became indignant because of 
being classed with "sea hens.'* In the "Gazette" 
of June loth for that year appears a long "Apology 
for Printers" in which the argument is made 
on twelve numbered "particulars" that printers 
should not be held responsible for what is said in 
the things they print. One cannot help but be 
somewhat skeptical as to the accuracy of the state- 
ment in the "Apology" that this printer had noth- 
ing to do with the matter of adding to the an- 
nouncement the postscript to which the reverend 
gentlemen objected. 

Franklin never hesitated when opportunity 
offered to relate a joke at his own expense. One of 
his electrical experiments was an attempt to kill a 
turkey by shock. He himself received the full 
effect of the electrical discharge and was rendered 
unconscious. When restored his first remark was, 
"Well, I meant to kill a Turkey, and infl:ea,d I nearly 
killed a goofe." 

Clad in a new suit of clothes, he walked over some 
barrels of tar on the wharf when the head of one of 
them gave way and Franklin was partly immersed 
in its contents. The incident was duly chronicled 
in the "Gazette." A typographical error in one issue 
of his paper was apt to be turned to good account 
in the next, usually with a letter from a supposed 
reader giving an entertaining account of other 

The First American Humorist. 183 

printers' errors. How he turned his own physical 
infirmities into entertainment for his friends is 
shown in the deHghtful "Dialogue between Frank- 
lin and the Gout." 

Sometimes he joked his fellow-editors. A rhym- 
ing contribution to the " Mercury " was signed B-d. 
Franklin referred to it in the " Gazette" as follows: 

"Mr. Franklin, I am the Author of a Copy of 
Verfes in the laft Mercury. It was my real In- 
tention [to] appear open, and not bafely with my 
Vizard on, attack a Man who had fairly unmaiked. 
Accordingly, I fubscrib'd my Name at full Length, 
in my Manufcript fent to my Brother B-d; but he 
for fome incomprehenfible Reafon, infert'd the two 
initial Letters only, viz. B. L. 'Tis true, every 
Syllable of the Performance difcovers me to be the 
Author, but as I meet with much Cenfure on the 
Occafion, I requeft you to inform the Publick, that 
I did not defire my Name Oiould be conceal'd; and 
that the remaining Letters are O, C, K, H, E, A, D." 

Many stories of Franklin's sallies are told. One 
related by Parton is of a Quaker citizen who came 
to him with this inquiry: "Canft thou tell me how I 
am to preferve my fmall Beer in the back Yard.? 
My Neighbors, I find, are tapping it for me." 
Franklin's solution was simple : " Put a barrel of old 
Madeira by the fide of it." 

The storm aroused in America by the passage of 
the Stamp Act by the English Parliament is a 
familiar incident of history. In one of the ex- 

184 The First American Humorist. 

aminations before the committee of the Whole 
House which was held to consider the matter, 
Franklin was urged by his friends to repeat a reply- 
he had made to a member who was a most strenuous 
advocate of the Act and who had told Franklin that 
if he would but assist the Ministry a little the Act 
could be amended so as to make it acceptable to the 
Colonies. Franklin gravely replied that he had 
thought of one amendment, a very little one, in fact 
the change of but a single word, which he felt would 
make the Act acceptable in America. The Tory 
member was much interested. Franklin then ex- 
plained that the change he proposed was in the 
phrase "on and after the firfl: day of November, 
one thoufand feven hundred and fixty-five, there 
fhall be paid, etc.," where he would substitute 
"two" for "one." He declined to make the sug- 
gestion during the official examination, however, on 
the ground that it would be "too light and ludicrous 
for the Houfe." 

One day at dinner in a bottle of Madeira wine 
were found three flies apparently dead. Having 
heard that it was possible to revive flies supposedly 
drowned by placing them in the sun, Franklin tried 
the experiment, with the result that two were 
brought back to life. This caused him to remark: 
"I wifli it were poflible from this Inftance, to invent 
a Method of embalming drowned Perfons in fuch a 
manner that they may be recalled to Life at any 

The First American Humorist, 185 

Period however Diftant; for having a very ardent 
defire to fee and obferve the State of America a 
hundred Years hence, I fhould prefer to any- 
ordinary Death the being immerfed in a cafk of 
Madeira Wine, with a few Friends, till that Time, 
to be then recalled to Life by the folar Warmth of 
my dear Country!" 

Many a tense situation was relieved by a laugh 
following one of Franklin's remarks. There came a 
day when the Committee of Safety, composed 
principally of "dilTenters," was required by the 
more strenuous among the Pennsylvania patriots to 
call upon the Episcopal clergy to refrain from pray- 
ing for the king. The suggestion afforded an oppor- 
tunity for a disagreeable and disturbing discussion, 
which was averted by Franklin. "The Meafure," 
said he, *'is quite unneceiTary; for the Epif copal 
clergy, to my certain Knowledge, have been con- 
ftantly praying, thefe twenty years, that 'God 
would give to the King and his Council Wifdom,' 
and we all know that not the leaft notice has ever 
been taken of that prayer. So, it is plain, the gentle- 
men have no intereft in the Court of Heaven." Good 
humor was restored and the matter was dropped. 

The most famous of the witty remarks credited 
to Franklin is probably that which relates to the 
signing of the Declaration of Independence. John 
Hancock is reported to have said, "We muil: be 
unanimous ; there muft be no pulling different ways ; 

1 86 Literary Style. 

we mud all hang together." Franklin replied, 
"Yes, we muft, indeed, all hang together, or, moft 
afTuredly, we fhall all hang feparately." The inci- 
dent is entirely traditional, but it is so characteris- 
tic as to be generally accepted as authentic. 

The first year or two of the Revolution was dis- 
couraging for the envoys in France. Their success 
on the continent of Europe depended almost en- 
tirely upon the success of the revolutionary arms 
in America. The outlook for the American forces 
was bad, but news came that was worse, to the 
effect that General Howe had captured Phila- 
delphia. "Well, Doctor," said an Englishman 
jubilantly to Franklin, "Howe has taken Phila- 
delphia." " I beg your pardon. Sir," was Franklin's 
reply; "Philadelphia has taken Howe," which 
proved to be true, for while the British General and 
his officers were wasting their time in the agreeable 
social gaieties of the Quaker city Washington was 
reorganizing his army, thereby laying the founda- 
tion for the victories that came later. 

i^ i^ i^ i^ i^ i^ i^ il^ i^ i^ i^ m i^ €^ it* i^ i^ i^ i^ i^ i^ i^ 


Literary Style. 

(S)UERY: — How fhall we judge of the good- 
*X^nefs of a writing? Or what qualities fhould 
a writing have to be good and perfed in its kind ? 

Literary Style, 187 

'' Answer. To be good, it ought to have a 
Tendency to benefit the Reader, by improving 
his Virtue or his Knowledge. But, not regarding 
the Intention of the Author, the Method iliould 
be juft, that is, it fhould proceed regularly from 
Things known to Things unknown, diifinctly and 
clearly without Confufion. The Words ufed liiould 
be the moft expreflive that the Language affords, 
provid'd that they are the moft generally under- 
ftood. Nothing fhould be exprelT'd in two Words 
that can be as well expreft^'d in one; that is, no 
Synonymes fhould be ufed, or very rarely, but 
the whole fhould be as fliort as polfible, conliftent 
with clearnefs; the Words fliould be fo placed as to 
be agreeable to the Ear in reading, fummarily 
it fhould be fmooth, clear, and short, for the con- 
trary qualities are difpleafmg." 

So wrote Benjamin Franklin after thirty years 
of constant production of what is generally ac- 
cepted as the strongest, clearest, simplest English 
that has come from the pen of an American writer. 

Earlier in his career, after five years of editor- 
ship, he had written "To the Printer of the Ga- 

*'To write clearly, not only the moft expreftive, 
but the plaineft Words fhould be chofen. . . . 
The Fondnefs of fome Writers for fuch Words as 
carry with them an Air of Learning, renders them 
unintelligible to more than half their Countrymen. 
If a man would that his Writings have an Effect 
on the Generality of Readers, he had better imitate 

1 88 Literary Style, 

that Gentleman, who would ufe no Word in his 
Works that was not well underftood by his Cook- 

His first effort to acquire correct literary style 
began in his early teens and was the result of a 
controversy with a youthful friend, John Collins, 
over "the Propriety of educating the female Sex 
in Learning and their Abilities for Study." Frank- 
lin preserved not only his friend's letters but copies 
of his own arguments on the subject. The cor- 
respondence later came to the attention of his 
father, who pointed out to his son that the literary 
form of his arguments was inferior to that of his 
antagonist and suggested methods of improvement, 
which were followed to advantage. 

About this time Benjamin came across a volume 
of the " Spectator," the brilliant collection of essays 
on a wide variety of subjects that was published 
in London between the years 171 1 and 1714, and 
despite his youth he immediately discovered its 
value from a literary point of view. In the "Auto- 
biography" he relates how he made synopses of 
some of the papers, laid them aside for a few days 
and then without looking at them again rewrote 
them from his notes and compared his effort with 
the original. He soon saw that he was deficient 
in his vocabulary and he attempted to turn the 
papers into verse, which necessitated a search for 
words of different sound and number of syllables. 



Criminibus debent Hortos- 


Tttefday, May 20. 1 711. 

AS I wu Turing in my Chtmber, and Jiis Heart made feverJRtr.eQioni on fhcGri"t7i«r» 
thinking on a SubjeQ for my next J/c- of the Bnii^ Nibon; w,thitone£nW//2iOTa,7<ou'd 
<?jc»r, I hcaii two or three irreeular htn tht a Frenchmen , that wccou'dnevCTbunDjn- 
Bounces ar my Landlady's Door, and up- ger of Popery fo long as we took.careof our Fleet • 
on the opening of it a loud chearful Voice enqui- thattheTAamej wasihenobleft RIvenn fuTOoe • th« 
ling wiether the Philofopher -wasaiHome The i'""''"'-*'-<./^f woi a gfcaier Piece of Work than »n» 
Child who went to the Door anfwered very Inno- of the Seven Wonders of the World, with manyo- 
ctntly that he did not Lodge there. I immediately ther hontft Prejudices that naturally cleave to the 
rtcoiitacdthatitwajmjgoodFricnd Sir RoCE R's Heart of » true Englijbman. 
Voice, end that 1 had promifed him to go with him 

on the Waier to Sprm? -Garden, in cafe it proved a After fome {horl Paufe, the oU Ki\i>ht tutnine 
joodEvemrg. The Knight put me in mind of my about hlj Head twice or thnce, to take a Survey of 
fromife from the bottom of theSuir Cafe, but told th.j ereat Metropolis, bid me ob&rve. how tiiici 
me th« if I was Speculating he wou'd (lay bclov/ the City was fet with Churches, and that there waj 
6(1 I had done. Upon my coming down I found fcirceafingle SteeplecnthlsMeTiiM/e-iar. ^ma2 
ill the Children of the got about my old Hathcntjb Sisbti fays Sir Roger: Ti'reitMcKe- 
Ftiend, and my Landlady her felP, who is a nota- U'gUn at tJtij EndoftheTawn. The F\fiy^cwCtwcht! 
ble piaiing Goffipj enga|ed in a Conferenca wUh v/dt very muei mad tU ProfjteSt ; hueCbunh-unrk 
hiin, b«mg mightily pleaTed "'i'* his frroiking her uJUw^ Cburci-uwrk iiJlow\ 
llttleBoy upon theHeid, and bidding Kimbcagood 

Child Bnd mind his Boole I do not remember that I have any where menti- 

oned, in Sir RocEl's a)».-a(3er, his Cu(»om of 
We were no fooncr come to the TempU Stairs, Saluting every Body that oalTes by him, with a 
but ^e were furrounded vith a Crowd of Water- Good-morrow, or a Good-night. T^iJ the OU- 
"leu offeringus their refpeftive Services. Sir Ro; Mandoej out of theOverfiowingsof hii Humanity 
<;er, after having Iooi;ed about him very attentively, tho' at the fame time it renders him fo popular a- 
fpied one With 1 Wooden Leg, and immediately tnong all bis Country Neighbours, ihat it is thought 
gave him Orders to gee his Boat ready. As we were to have gone a good way in making him ones or 
walking towards it, Tox mujl know, fays Sir Ro- twice Krright olthe Shire. He cannot forbear this 
c E R, 7 never make tj't of arty Body to Row me that Exercife of Benevolence even in Town, when he 
hdi not tuber Uji aLeg or an /trn. I xuotid ratter meets with any one in his Morning or Evening 
tait htn nfiu, Sirekciof bii OoTy than not Employ Welk. It broke from him to feveral Boats that 
in honejl Man. that hai been wounded in the (Queen's pafled by US Upon the Water ; but to the Knijjht'j 
5"-v<«. IJ I WD a Lord, or a Bijhop, and kept a. great Surprife, as he gave the Good-nigbl to two 
B«r?», I wou J, not put a. Felhui in my L/vrj thai or threeyonng Fellows a liitle before Our Landing, 
bad not utVoeden. Leg. <">« of them, inlteadof returnmg the Civility, asked 

ut -what Queer old Purt we had in the Boat ; and 
My old Friend, after having feated himfelf, and whether he wsi not alhamed to go a Wenching at 
tnmrncd the Boat with his Coachman, who, being a his Years i with a great deal of the like 7io^rry- 
"'try fober Man, always ferves for Ballaft on tht.^e Ribaldry. Sir Roger feemed a little fnocked at Srft, 
Occaflons.we made thebelVofour vtBy for fox-hall, but at length affuminga Face of Magiilricy, told 
Sir Roc ER. obliged the Waterman to give us the us, liat if bt -were a. Middlefe-t Jiffricc, It would 
H'doryofhis Right Leg andhearingthathehad left it make juchl^agranit know that HtrMajtJiyiStbjtSs 
« Sonir^ Bay, -^ith many Particulars which paffed in uiere no mart to be abufed by U^a/er than by Land 
ikjt glorious AQion, theKnifht in the Triumph of 


A first page of the London newspaper which young Benjamin Franklin 
used as a model in his study to improve his literary style. Size of 
original 5!" x 9I". 

190 Literary Style, 

He would also take a synopsis and jumble the 
hints into confusion, later attempting to restore 
them to their proper order, by which process he 
taught himself method in the arrangement of his 

He supplemented his scanty education by read- 
ing the best books. Among them were Bunyan's 
*' Pilgrim's Progress," Burton's " Historical Collec- 
tions," Plutarch's ** Lives," DeFoe's *' Essays on 
Projects," Mather's ''Essays to Do Good," Locke's 
"On the Human Understanding," du Port Royal's 
"Art of Thinking," Xenophon's "Memorable 
Things of Socrates," and other works that one 
would not expect ordinarily to find in the library 
of a boy of fifteen or sixteen. 

The book last named had a pronounced influ- 
ence upon Franklin. He had become an aggressive 
controversialist, and his study of Xenophon's work 
Induced him to adopt the Socratic method of 
arguing, that of asking questions seemingly irrele- 
vant but leading to conclusions not suspected by 
the opponent. He became adept in its use and 
his victories afi^orded him much satisfaction. 

Of his arguments with Keimer, who was himself 
fond of disputations, he said: "I ufed to work him 
fo with my Socratic method, and had trepanned 
him fo often by queftions apparently fo diftant 
from any Point we had in hand, and yet by De- 
grees led to the point, and brought him into Diffi- 

Lit era ry Style. 191 

culties and Contradictions, that at laft he grew 
ridiculoufly cautious, and would hardly anfwer 
me the moft common Queftion without alking 
firft, 'What do you intend to infer from that?' 
However, it gave him fo high an opinion of my 
Abilities in the confuting way that he ferioufly 
propofed my being his Colleague in a projecl: he 
had of fetting up a new fed:. He was to preach 
the Doctrines, and I was to confound all Oppo- 

Franklin eventually abandoned the Socratic 
method. *'I continued this Method fome few 
years, but gradually left it," he said, ''retaining 
only the Habit of exprefTmg myfelf in terms 
of modeft Diffidence, never ufmg, when I advanced 
any thing that might poflibly be difputed, the 
words certainly, undoubtedly, or any others that 
give the air of pofitivenefs to an Opinion; but 
rather fay, I conceive or apprehend a thing to be 
fo and fo; it appears to me, or I should think it 
fo or fo, for fuch and fuch reafons; or I imagine 
it to be fo ; or it is fo, if I am not miftaken. This 
Habit, I believe has been of great Advantage to 
me when I have had occafion to inculcate my opin- 
ions, and perfuade Men into Meafures that I 
have been from Time to Time engaged in pro- 

Franklin gives evidence in his correspondence 
of having been always a student of language. 

192 Literary Style, 

In 1789 young Noah Webster sent him his ''Dif- 
fertations upon the Enghsh Language." Frankhn 
acknowledged its receipt in approving terms, 
compHmenting the young-author on his "zeal for 
preferving the purity of our Language" and recom- 
mending further effort along that line. 

He objected to the growing use of the word 
*' improved" instead of "employed" in an expres- 
sion like " a country Houfe improved as a Tavern." 
He also objected to the forming of verbs from sub- 
stantives such as "noticed," "advocated," "pro- 
greflfed" and "oppofed." 

When Franklin published his so-called "Canada 
Pamphlet" he himself came under the criticism 
of the English historian, David Hume, because of 
his use of unusual words. Three that Hume speci- 
fied were "pejorate," "colonize" and "unfhake- 
able." Franklin gave up the first two as being 
provincial and the last as "rather low." He con- 
ceded the inadvisability of introducing "new words 
where we are already pofTeflTed of old ones fuffi- 
ciently expreflive," but added "at the fame time 
I cannot but wifh the Ufage of our Tongue per- 
mitted making new words, when we want them, 
by Compofition of old Ones, whofe meanings are 
already well underftood." "For inftance, the 
word 'inacceflible' fo long in ufe among us, is not, 
I darefay, fo univerfally underftood by our people as 
the word 'uncomeatable' would immediately be." 

Literary Style, 193 

Franklin proposed "A Scheme for a New Al- 
phabet and Reformed Mode of Spelling," explained 
in the following remarks : 

"It is endeavoured to give the Alphabet a more 
natural Order; beginning firft with the fnnple 
Sounds formed by the Breath, with none or very 
little help of Tongue, Teeth, and Lips, and pro- 
duced chiefly in the Windpipe. 

"Then coming forward to thofe, formed by the 
Roof of the Tongue next to the Windpipe. 

"Then to thofe, formed more forward by the fore 
part of the Tongue againft the Roof of the Mouth. 

"Then thofe, formed still more forward, in the 
Mouth, by the Tip of the Tongue applied firll to 
the Roots of the upper Teeth. 

"Then to thofe formed by the Tip of the Tongue 
appHed to the Ends or Edges of the upper Teeth. 

"Then to thofe, formed yet more forward, by 
the upper and under Lip opening to let out the 
founding Breath. 

"And laftly, ending with the fhutting up of the 
Mouth, or clofmg the Lips, while any Vowel is 

His reformed alphabet comprised twenty of the 
characters of the English alphabet and to replace 
those rejected he substituted six of his own con- 
struction. He used it in correspondence with some 
of his close friends whose devotion to him and inter- 
est in everything he did caused them to study the 
alphabet sufficiently to be able to write with it, but 
it had no vogue beyond his immediate circle. Noah 

So hucn sym endfiel, hyi divyin kamand, 
Uill ryizlrj., tempests fieeks ^e gilii land, 
(Sytfi az av leet or peel Britania past,) 
Kalm and siriin hi dryivs l}i fiuriys blast ; 
And, pliiz^d Y cxlmyitis ardyrs tu pyrfarm, 
'Ryids in T^i hiiyrluind and dyirekts 7^i starm. 

So Tfi piur limpid striim, huen faul uili steens 
av ryfiig. tarents and disendig. reens, 
Uyrks itself kliir ; and az it ryns rifyins ; 
Til byi digriis, ly, flotig. miryr fiyins, 
Eiflekts iitfi flaw \at an its bardyr groz, 
And e nu hev*n in its feer byzym fioz. 

Two verses in Franklin's reformed alphabet. "Englished," they read as 
follows : 

So when some angel by divine command 
With rising tempests seeks a guilty land 
(Such as of late o'er pale Britannia passed) 
Calm and serene he drives his furious blast 
And pleased the Almighty's orders to perform 
Rides in the whirlwind and directs the storm. 

So the pure limpid stream when foul with stains 
Of rising torrents or descending rains 
Works itself clear and as it runs refines 
Till by degrees thy floating mirror shines 
Reflects each flower that on its border grows 
And a new heav'n in its fair bosom shows. 

Literary ff^orks, 195 

Webster in his "Dissertation upon the EngHsh 
Language " makes this interesting reference : "This 
indefatigable Gentleman (Dr. Franklin), amidft all 
his other employments, public and private, has 
compiled a Dictionary on his Scheme of a Reform, 
and procured types to be call; for printing it. He 
thinks himfelf too old to purfue the plan; but has 
honored me with the offer of the Manufcript and 
Types and exprelTed a ftrong Defire that I fliould 
undertake the task. Whether this project, fo 
deeply interefting to this Country will ever be 
eff edled ; or whether it will be defeated by Infolence 
and prejudice remains for my countrymen to 

€^ C^ il^ €< €^ it^ il^ €^ Z^ €^ €^ €^ €^ €< €^ il^ it^ €^ Z^ €^ it< it^ 


Literary Works, 

A LBERT HENRY SMYTH in his chapter on 
the works of Franklin quotes Sydney Smith's 
remark to his daughter, "I will disinherit you if 
you do not admire everything written by Franklin," 
and himself adds "The literature of the world 
might be searched in vain for the works of another 
author who should exhibit such a variety of theme, 
fertility of thought and excellence of style." 

Franklin's earliest attempts at authorship were 
in the form of ballads. In his time nearly every- 

196 Literary W^orks. 

body took a turn at rhyming, and although the 
ballads were, as Franklin in later years said of his 
own, usually "wretched stuff," many of them had a 
large sale. Thomas Fleet is said by Isaiah Thomas 
to have sold so many ballads that "the profit upon 
them alone was sufficient to support his family 
respectably." The ballads were commonly of a 
tragic nature, relating the "exploits of pirates, the 
execution of murderers, the gallantry of highway- 
men, terrible shipwrecks, horrible crimes, etc." 
Young Franklin, seeming to have some facility at 
ballad writing, at the suggestion of his elder brother 
James, wrote two, one called "The Light Houfe 
Tragedy" and the other relating the exploits of 
Edward Teach, a pirate known as "Blackbeard," 
who cruised up and down the Atlantic Coast, 
striking terror wherever he went. 

Benjamin not only wrote the ballads, but went, 
under his brother's direction, to sell them on the 
streets. Of "The Light Houfe Tragedy" it is said 
that it "sold prodigiously," which so encouraged 
the young author that he would have made further 
efforts in ballad writing had not his father come to 
his rescue and persuaded him to devote his talents 
to more sensible endeavor. 

Franklin wrote most of the matter in the " Penn- 
sylvania Gazette" not credited by him to other 
sources. The Almanack was a sort of melting 
pot into which he gathered whatever came his way 

Literary JVorks. 197 

that served his purpose. Some of Poor Richard's 
sayings were phrased as they were found, others 
were sUghtly altered, and in many the thought 
alone was used but expressed in Franklin's own 
words. His attitude may be seen in what Poor 
Richard had to say in No. 15 of the Almanack on the 
subject of poetry. 

"The Verfes on the Heads of Months are alfo 
generally defigned to have the fame Tendency. I 
need not tell thee that not many of them are of My 
Own Making. If thou haft any Judgment in 
Poetry, thou wilt eafily difcern the Workman from 
the Bungler. I know as well as thee, that I am not 
Poet Born; and it is a Trade I never learnt, nor in- 
deed could learn. . . . Why then fhould I 
give my Readers bad Lines of my own, when good 
Ones of other People's are fo plenty.?" 

Franklin wrote much on scientific subjects, giv- 
ing evidence of interest in them at an early age. 
During his first sojourn in London he made the 
acquaintance of several men of scientific attain- 
ment, one of them being Dr. Pemberton, secretary 
of the Royal Society, who made him the promise of 
an introduction to Sir Isaac Newton, but failed to 
keep it. Another was Sir Hans Sloane, who in- 
vited him to his house and showed him his collec- 
tion of curiosities. 

In the " Gazette " he published papers of his own 
authorship on such subjects as "On Making Rivers 
Navigable," "Caufes of Earthquakes," etc., but it 

198 Literary Works, 

was not until 1746, when he was forty years of age 
and two years before his retirement from business, 
that his attention was first drawn to electricity. In 
that year his friend, Peter Collinson, London 
Agent for the Library Company of Philadelphia, 
and fellow of the Royal Society of London, sent to 
Philadelphia an electrical tube with directions for 
its use. Franklin gave himself up to the fascinat- 
ing experiments he was able to make with it. 

" I never was before engaged in any Study that 
fo totally engrolTed my Attention and my Time as 
this has lately done " ; he says, " for, what with mak- 
ing Experiments when I can be alone, and repeating 
them to my Friends and Acquaintance, who, from 
the Novelty of the thing, come continually in 
Crowds to fee them I have, during some Months 
past, had little Leifure for anything elfe." 

Franklin's writings on the subject of electricity 
were sent to Europe, where they were at first re- 
ceived with ridicule and later accepted with en- 

With his untiring energy, he delved into the 
mystery of natural phenomena in every direction. 
He propounded a theory of navigation; it was he 
who discovered that storms have a definite di- 
rection; the experiments he conducted on shipboard 
to relieve the tedium of the long ocean voyages 
demonstrated that there is a diff^erence of tempera- 
ture in the Gulf Stream as compared with the 

Literary ff'orks. 199 

water which surrounds it, and it was he who found 
an explanation of the effect of oil upon water. 

A conception of Franklin's writings on science 
and philosophy may be obtained from the following 
statement by Professor Smyth: "Franklin's mind 
teemed with ideas. In a single letter he speaks of 
linseed oil, northeast storms, the origin of springs in 
mountains, petrified shells in the Appalachians, and 
tariff laws — subjects apparently far apart and with 
little connection, and yet they are linked together 
with relevancy enough, for, as he said, with homely 
comparison, 'ideas will ftring themfelves like ropes 
of onions.' . . . His philosophical writings 
relate to subjects of electricity, seismology, geology, 
meteorology, physics, chemistry, astronomy, mathe- 
matics, hydrography, horology, aeronautics, navi- 
gation, agriculture, ethnolog^% paleontology, medi- 
cine, hygiene, and pedagogy." 

His writings upon scientific subjects received 
more than usual attention, one reason being that 
they were so understandable. He wrote not in 
scientific terms, but in the language of the layman. 
" Science appears in his language," says Sparks, "in 
a dress wonderfully decorous, the best adapted to 
display her native loveliness." 

Only one product of Franklin's pen was of 
sufficient length to make a book of average size. 
All others were intended as contributions to news- 
papers or for publication as pamphlets and broad- 

200 Literary ff^orks. 

sides, or were social and business letters. There 
are in existence between fifteen thousand and six- 
teen thousand of his original manuscripts, em- 
braced mainly in three great collections, which are 
located respectively in the Library of Congress at 
Washington, D. C, the Library of the American 
Philosophical Society, in Philadelphia, and the 
Library of the University of Pennsylvania in 
Philadelphia. Among what might be called the 
minor collections, because not so large, the most im- 
portant probably is that in the possession of the 
Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. 

Professor Smyth says of Franklin, "he had the 
magpie trait of hoarding things." Letters written 
to him, rough drafts and copies of letters written by 
him, visiting cards and invitations to dinner or to 
masonic lodge meetings were saved and cherished 
and went to swell the tremendous aggregate of his 
collection of papers. 

When in 1776 Franklin went to France as a rep- 
resentative of the Confederation he was seventy 
years of age and naturally uncertain as to the prob- 
able tenure of his life. He made Joseph Galloway, 
once speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly and a 
friend of many years, one of his executors and in his 
supposedly safe care left his collection of papers 
securely packed in a chest. 

Two things happened which Franklin naturally 
did not expect would happen. One was the sending 

Literary JVorks, 201 

by Galloway of the chest of papers to his country 
seat some miles from Philadelphia, where they were 
stored in a small house sometimes used as an office, 
and the other was Galloway's desertion of the 
patriot cause and alliance with the British. 

The house was later broken into by "rebels," to 
use Galloway's phrase, by which he probably 
meant American soldiers. The chest was opened 
and its contents scattered upon the floor, where 
they remained in disorder until Richard Bache, 
Franklin's son-in-law, heard of the disaster and 
went to Galloway's house, collected such of the 
papers as could be found, and returned with them to 
Philadelphia. Important letters and manuscripts, 
including those relating to the whole period of 
Franklin's representation of the Colonies in Eng- 
land, the most valuable of his early documents, 
were lost. 

All of Franklin's papers and manuscripts were be- 
queathed to his grandson, William Temple Frank- 
lin, who took with him to London some letter books 
and a few other original manuscripts, leaving what 
remained, comprising thirteen thousand separate 
pieces, in the possession of the father of Charles P. 
Fox, who nearly fifty years later bequeathed all but 
a comparatively small portion of them to the Amer- 
ican Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, where 
they have since remained. 

The portion referred to was stored in a garret 

202 Literary If^orks. 

over a stable at the home of the Fox family, and 
was therefore overlooked. Miss Fox knew what 
the papers were but took small interest in them, 
and needing a new carpet for her kitchen decided 
to sell the waste paper to a paper mill in order to 
secure funds with which to purchase the carpet. 
They were in process of removal when a Mrs. Hol- 
brook was visiting Miss Fox. Mrs. Holbrook 
remonstrated and the papers, with the exception 
of those contained in one unlucky barrel, which 
could not be recalled, were returned to the house 
and later presented to Mrs. Holbrook. Eventu- 
ally, through the efforts of Dr. S. Weir Mitchell, 
they were purchased and deposited in the Library 
of the University of Pennsylvania. 

The manuscripts taken abroad by William 
Temple Franklin had the "strange, eventful 
history" which seems to have been the fate of all 
of the Benjamin Franklin papers. After the 
publication of his edition of his grandfather's 
writings, the original papers were deposited for 
safe keeping with a firm of London bankers. A 
few years after William Temple Franklin's death 
the widow removed the papers and for the next 
seventeen years nothing is known of their where- 
abouts. Mrs. Franklin remarried and apparently 
lost interest in them. 

In 1840 they were found "loosely bundled up," 
on the top shelf of a tailor's shop in the London 

Literary Works, 203 

street where William Temple Franklin had lodged. 
The finder ineffectually offered them for sale, to 
the British Museum among others, for nearly 
a dozen years. Finally a buyer was found in 
Henry Stevens, of Vermont, who sorted, repaired, 
and rearranged them, and in turn sold them to the 
United States for ^.3 5,000. Comprising nearly 
three thousand separate items, they are now ac- 
curately catalogued and arranged in fourteen 
folio volumes in the Manuscript Department of the 
Library of Congress in Washington. 

When William Temple Franklin came into the 
possession of his grandfather's works, his first 
thought was of course to issue a complete edition 
of such as in his opinion were worthy of preserva- 
tion, and that none of the papers might escape 
him he inserted in the "Aurora," a newspaper pub- 
lished by Duane, who had married the widow of his 
cousin, Benjamin Franklin Bache, the following 
advertisement : 


"Towards the end of the year 1776, 
the late Dr. Franklin, on his departure 
for Europe, for greater security deposited 
a large chest, containing his papers and 
manuscripts, with Mr. Joseph Galloway, 
at his place in Bucks County in Penn- 
sylvania. The same was left there by 
Mr. Galloway, when he quitted his habi- 

204 Literary Works. 

tation, and was, it is said, broke open by 
persons unknown, and many of the papers 
taken away and dispersed in the neigh- 

" Several of the most valuable of these 
papers have since been recovered; but 
there are still some missing, among which 
are a few of the Doctor's Letter Books, 
and a manuscript in four or five volumes 
folio, on Finance, Commerce, and Manu- 
factures. The subscriber, to whom Dr. 
Franklin bequeathed all his papers and 
manuscripts, and who is preparing to give 
his works to the public, takes this method 
of informing those who may have knowl- 
edge of any of the above mentioned pa- 
pers, and will communicate the same to 
him so that he may thereby be enabled to 
recover any of them, or who may them- 
selves procure ajiy of thern and deliver 
them to him, shall be thankfully and gen- 
erously rewarded and no questions asked. 
He likewise requests those persons who 
may have any letters or other writings of 
Dr. Franklin that may be deemed worthy 
of the public eye, to be so kind as to for- 
ward them as early as possible, that they 
may be inserted in the Doctor's Works. 

"Those, also, who may have any books 
or maps belonging to the library of the 
late Dr. Franklin, are desired to return 
them without delay, to the subscriber, 
who is about to embark for Europe. 

"W. T. Franklin." 

'Literary Worh, 205 

William Temple Franklin went to London to 
arrange for the publishing of the papers, 
just in time to halt the issuance in English of two 
translations of a French edition of the ''Autobi- 
ography" that had been published by Buisson in 
1791. On his positive assurance that he would 
soon bring out a complete edition of his grand- 
father's works, the publication of these two trans- 
lations was delayed two years. In 1793 they both 
appeared, one bearing the imprint of J. Parsons 
and the other, edited by Richard Price, one of 
Benjamin Franklin's friends, which was much the 
better of the two, bearing the imprint of G. C. J. 
y J. Robinson. 

A year later the "Autobiography'* appeared in 
Germany, translated from Robinson's edition, and 
in 1798 a new version in French was published in 
Paris. In this later French edition the editor 
complained because the edition promised by Wil- 
liam Temple Franklin had not been published, 
adding, "the works of a great man belong less to 
his heirs than to the human race." 

In 1806, "while Temple Franklin was still scis- 
soring, sorting, shifting, and pasting the heaps of 
his grandfather's papers," appeared "The Com- 
plete Works in Philofophy, Politics and Morals, 
of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin now firft col- 
lected and arranged: with Memoirs of his early 
Life written by himfelf in 3 vols., London, J. John- 







,Philade)lphia in America, 

B Y 

Benjamin Franklin, L. L. D. and Fv R. S» 

To which are added, 


O N 

Philosophical Subjects. 

The Whole correfted, methodized, improved, and now.firft col- 
lefted into one Volume, 

ANU . 

Illuftrjitcd with COPPER PLATES. 


Printed for David Henry ; and fold by Francis NeWbIry, 
at the Corner of St. Paul's Church-Yard. 


First comprehensive collection of Franklin's writings in English. Original 
in the Typographic Library and Museum of the American Type Founders 
Company, Jersey City, N. J. Size 4^s" x 7". 

Literary ff^orks, 207 

son and Longman." In the preface of this edition, 
the editor of which is said to have been a Mr. 
Marshall, assisted it is believed by Benjamin 
Vaughan, appears a severe criticism of William 
Temple Franklin, because of his delay in the pub- 
lication of the work. A part of it is as follows : 

"The proprietor, it seems, had found a bidder 
of a different description in some emissary of 
government, whose object was to withhold the 
manuscripts from the world, not to benefit it 
by their publication; and they thus either passed 
into other hands, or the person to whom they were 
bequeathed received a remuneration for suppress- 
ing them. This at least has been asserted, by a 
variety of persons, both in this country and Amer- 
ica, of whom some were at the time intimate with 
the grandson, and not wholly unacquainted with 
the machinations of the ministry; and the silence, 
which has been observed for so many years re- 
specting the publication, gives additional credibil- 
ity to the report." 

Later in the same year the "American Citizen," 
a newspaper published in New York, joined in the 
condemnation by saying that William Temple 
Franklin, "without shame and without remorse, 
mean and mercenary, has sold the sacred deposit 
committed to his care by Dr. Franklin to the 
British government. Franklin's works are lost to 
the world forever." 

To this Temple Franklin published a reply 

U V R E S 

D E 



Membre de l'Acad£mie Royale i>es Sciences 
de Paris. , des Socieus Resales de Londres & de Cotnnguef 
de4 Socieies Philofophiques d'Edimbourg & de Rotterdam , 
Prifident de la Societi Philofophique de Pkiladelphie ^ 
& R^Jident a la Cour de la Grande Bretagne pour plujieurs 
Colonies Bntanniques Amiricaines, 

traDuites de-l'anglois sur la q'uatrieme Edition. 


avec des additions nouvelles 

£t da Figurts tn TailU douce. 



CQuittAU I'aind, Libraire, rueChriftine, au Magalin Litterarre. 
Chez < E s P R I T , Libraire de Mi;', le Due de Chartres , au Palais Royal. 
4 £t I'Aiiteur ^ rue de h Bucherie , aux Ecoles de Mcdecine, 

M. D C C. L X X I I f. 

Avu Approbation & Ptrmijfion du Rot. 

First edition of Franklin's writings in French. Original in the Typographic 
Library and Museum of the American Type Founders Company, Jersey 
City. N. J. Size si" x f^'. 

Literary ff^orks. 209 

branding the charge as *' atrociously false" and 
saying that the papers had been left to him to be 
published "in his discretion" and the manuscripts 
were not lost but were "under lock and key in the 
secure vaults of my bankers." Finally in 18 17, 
twenty-seven years after Temple Franklin came 
into the possession of the papers willed to him by 
his grandfather, appeared the first volume of his 
edition. There were six octavo volumes, the last 
appearing in 1819, The edition was limited to 
seven hundred and fifty copies. The publisher, 
Henry Colburn, assumed all the expenses and risks 
and took one third of the profits. Temple Frank- 
lin's profits amounting to fourteen hundred and 
seventy-three pounds. 

Of the editions of Franklin's works not men- 
tioned above the most notable are the following: 

Vaughan, London, 1779, one volume. 

Marshall and Vaughan, London, 1806, three vol- 

Duane, Philadelphia, 1808-1818, six volumes. 

Jared Sparks, Boston, 1 836-1 842; ten volumes. 

John Bigelow, New York, 1 887-1 888 ; ten volumes. 

Albert Henry Smyth, New York, 1907, ten vol- 

Of these editions the only one now not out of 
print is that by Professor Smyth, and it is by far 
the best. Sparks took liberties with the manu- 





S V t VIS (t^un Pricis historlque de sa Vie 
politique , et de plua'uurs Pikes , relatives 
d ce Pire de ia LiUrti, 


Chez BuissoN , Libraire , rue Hautcfeuille , n*. 20. 

« 79 '• 

The first edition in any language of the famous "Autobiography." 
Original in the Typographic Library and Museum of the American 
Type Founders Company, Jersey City, N. J. Size 3x'g" x 6/g". 

Literary JV or ks. 211 

scripts, correcting and altering as he chose. Bige- 
low's edition was an improvement, but he based 
many of his quotations upon the work of Sparks 
and thereby repeated the errors. 

Professor Smyth performed a notable service 
to American letters in preparing his edition of 
Franklin's works. He had access to many manu- 
scripts not known when previous editions were 
published and in republishing he went to the orig- 
inal documents in every case, preserving their exact 
style, spelling, and of course phraseology. 

The "Autobiography" will always remain one 
of the great monuments of American literature. 
It has been translated into practically every tongue, 
securing a wide circulation all over the globe, and 
in America no library is complete without it. In 
some cities it is used as a text-book in the public 

The manuscript of the "Autobiography" in 
Franklin's handwriting long remained in the pos- 
session of the family of M. le Veillard, Mayor of 
Passy when Franklin lived there, and one of his 
close personal friends. In 1867 it came into the 
possession of Hon. John Bigelow, Minister to the 
Court of France, and for the first time the public 
was made acquainted with the "Autobiography" 
as written by its author. On comparison with the 
edition put forth by William Temple Franklin, it 
was found that as his grandfather's literary execu- 

212 Literary ff^orks. 

tor he had taken unwarranted Hbertles with the 
text. More than twelve hundred changes were 
found to have been made by him, all of them of 
course in his own mind improvements upon the 

"Of these changes," says McMaster, "little need 
be said. They are usually Temple Franklin's 
Latin words for Benjamin Franklin's Anglo-Saxon. 
They remind us of the language of those finished 
writers for the press who can never call a fire any- 
thing but a conflagration, nor a crowd anything but 
a vast concourse, and who dare not use the same 
word twice on the same page Thus it is that in the 
Temple Franklin edition 'notion' has become *pre- 
tence,' that 'night coming on' has become 'night ap- 
proaching,' that *a very large one' has become 'a con- 
siderable one,' that 'treated me' has become 'received 
me,' that 'got a naughty girl with child' has become 
'had an intrigue with a girl of bad character,' that 
'very oddly' has been turned into 'a very extraor- 
dinary manner.' But the changes did not stop 
here. The coarseness of the grandfather was very 
shocking to the grandson, and 'guzzlers of beer' is 
made 'drinkers of beer,' 'footed it to London' be- 
comes 'walked to London,' 'Keimer stared like a pig 
poisoned' is made to give way to ' Keimer stared with 



Literary Friends. 

'T^HE first of Benjamin Franklin's friends who 
could properly be classed under the title of this 
chapter were two friends of his youth, John Collins 
and James Ralph. It was with young Collins that 
he engaged in youthful controversies over weighty 
subjects, as has been related in another chapter, 
which resulted in his decision, at the suggestion of 
his father, to acquire an improved literar}/' style. 
Collins seems to have been a young man of great 
promise, but he took to over-indulgence in in- 
toxicants and early disappeared from Franklin's life. 

James Ralph was one of the original members of 
the Junto. He was clerk to a merchant and was 
"ingenious, genteel in his manners, and extremely 
eloquent." But he abandoned a young wife and 
child and went with Franklin to England, where he 
became a literary hack and a producer of indifferent 
poetry. His memory is kept alive principally be- 
cause of the fact that Alexander Pope satirized him 
in the "Dunciad." He dedicated his first work to 

In enumerating in the "Autobiography" his 
closest acquaintances during his first years in 
Philadelphia, Franklin named not only James 
Ralph, but Charles Osborne and Joseph Watson, 
"all lovers of reading," and presents an attractive 

NIG H r : 


In Four Books. 

Pitchy and dark the night Sometimes appears^, 
Friend to our woe,, and parent of our fears ; 
Dur joys and wonder fometimes fhe excites, 
"With ftars unnumbred, and eternal lights* 




Printed by C Ackers^ for S. BiLtlNtisLEY at the Judge*s-' 
Head in CbatKerj-Lant. Jjtii (Price xs.6 d} 

Title page of a volume by Franklin's youthful friend, James Ralph. 

Original in possession of the author. 

Size 4" X 61". 

Lit era ry Frien ds. 215 

picture of their intimacy when he adds: "Many 
pleafant Walks we four had together on Sundays 
into the Woods near Schuykill where we read to 
one another and conferred on what we read." 

One of the dearest friends of FrankHn's later 
years was Benjamin Vaughan, a native of the West 
Indies, who was in London serving as secretary to 
Lord Shelburne when Franklin was there. When 
the "Parable of Persecution" was published in 
London during Franklin's absence in America, and a 
charge of plagiarism was brought against him, 
Vaughan sprang immediately and successfully to 
his defence. He it was who urged Franklin to con- 
tinue the writing of the "Autobiography," and he 
was the editor of the first edition of Franklin's 

Peter Collinson, celebrated because of his knowl- 
edge of botan}^ and natural history, was another 
close friend. He kept up a correspondence with 
men of science in all parts of the world, and it was to 
him that Franklin was indebted for the opportunity 
to make his first experiments with an electrical 
tube which Collinson sent from London to the 
Library Company of Philadelphia. 

Cadwallader Colden, another friend, was about 
the same age as Benjamin Vaughan, both being a 
dozen years older than Franklin. Colden was the 
author of the "Hiftory of the Five Indian Nations," 
"Principles of Action in Matter," and other 

2i6 Literary Friends, 

scientific and historical works. He invented a 
method of stereotyping about which he wrote a 
long description to Franklin, but which did not 
come into general use. 

Other literary friends in England were Edmund 
Burke, author of an "Essay on the Sublime and 
the Beautiful," who later became better known 
through his oratory and statesmanship; David 
Hume, the historian, and Adam Smith, author of a 
"Theory of Mild Sentiments" and "The Wealth 
of Nations." 

America at the time was not abundantly supplied 
with literary men, but Franklin was friend and con- 
fidante to two young men whose names were later 
to become well known. One of them was Thomas 
Paine, to whom he wrote advising him not to pub- 
lish his attacks upon the prevailing religious beliefs, 
and the other was Noah Webster, compiler of the 
dictionary that bore his name. 

Franklin's greatest friendship, however, one 
which has become historic, does not properly come 
under the designation of "literary" in the sense of 
authorship. It is that which existed between 
him and William Strahan (now pronounced as if 
spelled Strawn, but in his lifetime pronounced 
Stray-han), the celebrated London printer and 
publisher. Strahan was nine years younger than 
Franklin, having been born in 171 5. He built up a 
successful business, became printer to the king and 



The famous "you are now my enemy" letter. 
Original in the Library of Congress, Washington, D. C. 

2i8 Literary Friends. 

was the publisher of David Hume's "History of 
England " and the works of Edward Gibbon, author 
of the "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." 

Strahan and Franklin spent much time in each 
other's company when Franklin was resident in 
England, and later he was Franklin's representative 
in London in his business negotiations. Their cor- 
respondence was voluminous and it was to Strahan 
that the famous "you are now my enemy" letter 
was addressed. Paul Leicester Ford makes the 
statement, on what authority is not known, that 
the letter was never sent. What may be the 
original, but what would seem to be a copy, is pre- 
served in the collection of Franklin manuscripts in 
the Library of Congress at Washington, and it is the 
one usually used for illustration in works relating 
to Franklin. Li the private library of J. Pierpont 
Morgan, in New York, is another copy in Franklin's 
handwriting, which fact affords material for in- 
teresting speculation. 

Franklin's letters to Strahan were, with one ex- 
ception, decorous and dignified, save that some of 
them, instead of bearing a formal superscription, 
were addressed " Dear Straney." What must have 
been Strahan's astonishment when he received the 
exception, which was dated Burlington, October 4, 
1763, and which begins: 

" In the name of God what I have faid or done to 
you, that fo many Months fhould elapfe, fo many 

The Love of Books, 219 

Veffels arrive without my having the Pleafure of a 
Tingle Line from you fince my Arrival in America. 
I can't help imagining that you must have Wrote, 
and the letter mifcarried, but Mrs. F. fays flie 
thinks you have quite forgot us, now we have left 
England, and that you will not trouble yourfelf 
about us any more. I hope flie is mifliaken and 
that you will enable me to prove her so." 

The original is in Mr. Morgan's collection. 

William Strahan put himself on record as to his 
friendship for Franklin in a letter to Mrs. Franklin, 
unsuccessfully urging her to overcome her dislike 
for the sea and to make a voyage to London. " For 
my own part," he said to her about her husband, 
" I never faw a man who was in every refpect so per- 
fectly agreeable to me. Some are amiable in one 
view, fome in another, he in all." 

i^ i^ i^ i^ i^ i^ i^ i^ i^ i^ it^ i^ i^ it* it* it* i^ it* i^ it* i^ i^ 


The Love of Books. 

T3ENJAMIN FRANKLIN'S early love of books 
is revealed in the incident related in the first 
chapter of this volume of his arrangement with the 
brother to whom he was apprenticed to spend less 
upon his board and clothing in order to provide him 
with money for the purchase of books. One of his 
earliest friends in Boston was a Matthew Adams, 

220 The Love of Booh. 

who had a collection of books and who invited the 
boy to his home and placed the books at his dis- 

It is related in the "Autobiography" that when 
he arrived in New York from Boston the second 
time, the governor of the province (Burnet) hearing 
from the Captain of the ship that one of his pas- 
sengers had a great many books, invited the young 
man to call upon him. "The Governor treated me 
with great Civility, fhowed me his Library, which 
was a veiy large one, and we had a good deal of 
converfation about books and authors." In the 
"Autobiography" Franklin relates how he once 
changed an enemy into a friend by borrowing a 
book: "Having heard that he had in his Library a 
certain very fcarce and curious Book, I wrote a note 
to him, exprefling my defire of perufmg that Book, 
and requeuing he would do me the favor of lending 
it to me for a few days. He fent it immediately, 
and I return'd it in about a week with another note 
exprefling ftrongly my fenfe of the favor. When 
we next met in the Houfe he fpoke to me (which he 
had never done before) and with great civility, and 
he ever after manifeft'd a readinefs to ferve me on 
all occafions, fo that we became great friends, and 
our friendfhip continued to his death." 

Before young Benjamin made the arrangement 
with his brother James by which he hoped to ac- 
quire a library of his own he became acquainted 

The Love of Books. 22 1 

with an apprentice in a second-hand book store, 
through whose connivance he sometimes borrowed 
a book, "a fmall one," which he was careful to 
return soon and clean, often sitting up the greater 
part of the night so as to finish with it and be able 
to return it in the morning "left it fliould be miffed 
or wanted." 

Next door to Palmer's printing house in London 
was a second-hand book establishment kept by 
one Wilcox, with whom he arranged "on certain 
reafonable Terms," to "take, read and return 
any of his books." 

Franklin had definite ideas as to the way in 
which books should be read. In a letter to his 
young friend, Miss Mary Stevenson, accompanying 
a gift of books, he wrote: "I would advife you to 
read with a Pen in your Hand, and enter in a little 
Book fhort Hints of what you find that is curious, 
or that may be ufeful; for this will be the befl: 
method of imprinting fuch Particulars in your 
Memory, where they will be ready, either for 
pracflice on fome future occafion, if they are mat- 
ters of utility, or at leaft to adorn and improve 
your converfation, if they are rather points of 
curiofity. And as many of the terms of Science 
are fuch, as you cannot have met with in your 
common reading, and may therefore be unac- 
quainted with, I think it would be well for you to 
have a good Dictionary at hand, to confult imme- 

222 The Love of Books, 

diately when you meet with a Word you do not 
comprehend the precife Meaning of. This may at 
first feem troublefome and interrupting; but it is 
trouble that will daily diminifh, as you will daily 
find lefs and lefs occafion for 3^our Dictionary, as 
you become more acquaint'd with the Terms; and 
in the mean time you will read with more Satif- 
faction, becaufe with more underftanding." 

Franklin bought books for their contents rather 
than for their appearance, as will be seen by the 
following quotation from a letter written to Ben- 
jamin Vaughan in 1785 : "One can fcarce fee a new 
Book, without obferving the exceflive Artifices 
made ufe of to puff up a Paper of Verfes Into a 
Pamphlet, a Pamphlet into an Octavo, and an 
Octavo into a Quarto, with Scabboardings, white 
Lines, fparfe Titles of chapters, and exorbitant 
Margins, to fuch a Degree, that the Selling of 
Paper feems now the object, and printing on it 
only the Pretence. I enclofe the copy of a Page 
in a late Comedy. Between every two Lines there 
is a white fpace equal to another line. You have 
a Law, I think, againft Butchers blowing of Veal 
to make it look fatter; why not one againft Book- 
sellers' blowing of Books to make them look 

As was to be expected, Franklin's own library 
was a large one. The Rev. Dr. Manasseh Cutler, 
while on a visit to Philadelphia, called to pay his 




Addrelled to the Congregation in 


Upon the OccaCon of their receiving from 

Dr. F R A N K L I JSTy 

The Mark of his Rcfpeft, in a rich 


Appropriated to the Ufe of a 



P«*TOft or THi Church itf Fiahslik. 



A sermon acknowledging one of Franklin's gifts of books. 

Original in Boston Public Library. 

Size 3tV' X 61". 

224 The Love of Books, 

respects to Dr. Franklin, and in his journal he 
gives this glimpse of the library: "After it was dark 
we went into the Houfe, and he invited me into 
his Library, which is likewife his Study. It is a 
very large Chamber, and high-flu dded. The 
Walls are covered with Book-Shelves, filled with 
Books; befides there are four large Alcoves, ex- 
tending two thirds the Length of the Chamber, 
filled in the fame manner. I prefume this is the 
largeft and by far the beft private Library in 

Franklin made gifts of books to the Library 
Company of Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania 
Academy, Yale and Harvard Colleges, and the 
Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh (St. An- 
drews) and was instrumental in securing contribu- 
tions of books to other colleges. He gave a li- 
brary of three hundred books to the town of Frank- 
lin in New Hampshire, and when a request came 
from the town of Franklin in Massachusetts for a 
bell to hang in the steeple of the meeting house 
he advised that he would send books instead of a 
bell, " Senfe being preferable to Sound." 



Public Service. 

Studious of Eafe, and fond of humble Things, 
Below the Smiles, below the Frowns of Kings: 
Thanks to my Stars, I prize the Sweets of Life, 
No fleeplefs Nights I count, no Days of Strife, 
I reft, I wake, I drink, I fometimes love, 
I read, I write, I fettle, or I rove; 
Content to live, content to die unknown. 
Lord of Myfelf, accountable to None. 

OUCH was Poor Richard's conception of life 
after permanent release from business cares. 
When Franklin retired he wrote to his friend 
Cadwallader Golden of New York: "I have re- 
moved to a more quiet part of the Town, where I 
am fettling my old Accounts, and hope foon to be 
quite mafter of my own Time, and no longer, as 
the Song has it, at every one's call but my own. 

. . Thus you fee I am in a fair way of having 
no other Tafks than fuch as I fhall like to give my- 
felf, and of enjoying what I look upon as a great 
Happinefs, Leifure to read, ftudy, make Experi- 
ments, and converfe at large with fuch ingenious 
and worthy Men, as are pleaf'd to honor me with 
their Friendfhip or Acquaintance, on fuch points 
as may produce fomething for the common Benefit 
of Adankind, uninterrupted by the little cares and 
fatigues of Bufmefs." 

But he was not to be permitted to make use as 

226 Public Service, 

he chose of what he fondly hoped would be leisure 
time. On the contrary, no project, public or 
semi-public, was proposed but that the first 
thought of the proposers seems to have been to 
interest Benjamin Franklin in it. 

"There is no fuch thing," said Dr. Bond to 
Franklin, "as carrying through a public-fpirited 
Project without you are concerned in it, for I am 
often afked by thofe to whom I propofe fubfcrib- 
ing, 'Have you confulted Franklin on this Bufmefs.? 
And what does he think of it.?' And when I tell 
them that I have not (fuppofmg it rather out of 
your line), they do not fubfcribe, but fay, they will 
confider it. ' 

Franklin s service to the public began when, at 
the age of twenty, he gathered a number of his 
young friends around him and established the 
Junto, the first American debating society, and 
the service ended when, two thirds of a century 
later, at the age of eighty-four, he founded the 
Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition 
of Slavery. Between these two events is a long 
list of services and achievements in the public 
interest. No work relating to Franklin's life 
would be complete without mention of the more 
important of these services and achievements, 
although want of space in the present volume 
permits of no more than the listing of them by 

Public Service. 227 

So far as the holding of pubhc offices is con- 
cerned, Frankhn stated it to be his rule "never to 
afk, never refufe, or never refign an office." His 
first was that of Justice of Peace which, however, 
he did resign, because he felt that he had not 
sufficient legal knowledge to fill it adequately. 
The other offices he held were as follows: 

Clerk Pennsylvania Assembly 

Speaker Pennsylvania Assembly 

Member Philadelphia Common Council and, 
later, Alderman 

Postmaster of Philadelphia 

Deputy Postmaster General for the Colonies 

Postmaster General for the Colonies 

Delegate to Albany convention to consider 
plans for a union of the Colonies 

Acting General, Pennsylvania Militia 

Colonel, Pennsylvania Militia 

President Pennsylvania Commission of Safety 

Commissioner to Continental Army at Cam- 

Commissioner to Canada 

Agent in England for the Colonies (sixteen 

Member Secret Committee of Correspondence 

Member Committee to draft Declaration of 

Member Continental Congress • 

228 Public Service. 

President Pennsylvania Constitutional Con- 

United States Commissioner to France 

United States Minister Plenipotentiary to 

United States Commissioner to Negotiate 
Peace with Great Britain 

President (Governor) of Pennsylvania 

Equally important with the holding of public 
office was Franklin's service of an unofficial kind. 
The more important of these achievements, in 
addition to the two already mentioned, were as 
follows : 

Founded the American Philosophical So- 
ciety (First President) 

Founded the Philadelphia Library, upon 
which is based our public library system 

Founded the University of Pennsylvania 

Founded the Philadelphia Fire Company 

Helped to found the Philadelphia Hospital 

Introduced the basket willow 

Introduced street paving, cleaning, and lighting 

Reformed the night watch 

Promoted use of plaster 

Promoted use of mineral fertilizers 

Promoted culture of silk 

Advocated building of ships with water-tight 

Public Service. iig 

Eventually he began to feel that he was identi- 
fying himself to too great a degree witii j)liilan- 
thropic projects, so when the Reverend Gilbert 
Tennent came to him with a request for assistance 
in erecting a new meeting house he said, "Unwilling 
to make Myfelf difagreeable to my fellow-c!tizens 
by too frequently foliciting their Contributions, I 
abfolutely refuf'd." He did, however, give ad- 
vice to the reverend solicitor, as to how to proceed, 
which was followed to success. 

This attitude of mind is further illustrated by 
the following quotation from his statement in the 
"Autobiography" in regard to the founding of the 
Pennsylvania Academy which later became the 
University of Pennsylvania. "In the Introduc- 
tion of thefe propofals, I ftat'd their publication, 
not as an Act of mine, but of fome public-fpirited 
Gentlemen, avoiding as much as I could, according 
to my ufual Rule, the prefenting Myfelf to the 
Public as the author of any Scheme for their 

His inventions come properly within the catalog 
of public service for the reason that he took out no 
patents. He declined Governor Thomas' offer to 
give him a patent on the Pennsylvania fireplace, 
saying "that as we enjoy great Advantages from 
the Inventions of others, we fliould be glad of an 
Opportunity to ferve others by an Invention of 
ours; and this we fliould do freely and generoufly." 

230 Public Service. 

Most of his inventions were of a minor character, 
tending merely to convenience or comfort (such 
as the chair which turned over and became a step 
ladder) exemphfying his statement that "human 
feUcity is produc'd not fo much by great pieces of 
good fortune that feldom happen as by Httle ad- 
vantages that occur every day." The more im- 
portant of his inventions are the following: 

Lightning rod 
Franklin stove 
Smokeless chimney 
Bi-focal lens for spectacles 
Improved armonica 

A part of Franklin's public service resulted from 
his deep interest in and his constant study of 
medicine. So important were his contributions 
to medical literature that a volume on "The Med- 
ical Side of Franklin," by Dr. William Pepper, 
has been published. 

He proposed, among other innovations, a new 
theory of colds that met with much opposition 
before being finally adopted. His contributions 
on the subject of ventilation had much the same 
experience, although he came eventually to be 
so highly regarded as an authority on the sub- 
ject that the government of England consulted 
him about the ventilation of the House of Com- 

Public Service, 23 i 

Dr. Pepper says that Franklin's "letters on lead 
poisoning are wonderful and would have been a 
credit to any physician of that age." One such 
that had reference to printing was addressed to 
Benjamin Vaughan and is in part as follows: 

"I there found a Practice I had never feen before, 
of drying a Cafe of Types (which are wet in dif- 
tribution) by placing it Hoping before the fire. I 
found this had the additional Advantage, when the 
Types were not only dri'd but heat'd, of being 
comfortable to the Hands working over them in 
cold Weather. I therefore fometimes heat'd my 
Cafe when the Types did not want drying. But an 
old workman, obferving it, advif'd me not to do 
fo, telling me I might lofe the ufe of my Hands by 
it, as two of our Companions had nearly done, 
one of whom that ufed to earn his Guinea a week, 
could not then make more than ten Shillings and 
the other, who had the Dangles, but feven and 
lixpence. This, with a kind of obscure Pain, that 
I had fometimes felt, as it were in the Bones of 
my Hand when working over the Types made 
very hot, induced me to omit the Practice." 

Franklin was not a graduate of a medical 
school, but was a member of several medical 
societies, and he did treat people for various ills. 
Many of the most prominent medical men of 
America and Europe were his intimate companions 
and valued correspondents, and many medical 
works were dedicated to him. 


CHAP. XXI 1 1. 

** Our " Benjamin Franklin, 

T) ECAUSE of the wide range of his sympathies, 
of the astonishing energy and industry that per- 
vaded his long hfe, and of his interest in the activi- 
ties of nearly all the great movements of his cen- 
tury, mankind has many claims upon the heritage 
left by the words and deeds of Benjamin Franklin. 
I am firmly of the belief, however, that we of the 
printing and publishing craft have first claim in 
that respect, for whatever the many and remark- 
able achievements that took him into other fields 
in which he received welcome and acclaim, his in- 
terest in printing never lessened. 

When in England, as agent for the Colonies, he 
went on one occasion to Watt's printing office, and 
according to the "Memoirs" of his friend Strahan, 
sought out a particular press and designated it as 
the one upon which he worked as a journeyman 
printer. During his ambassadorship at Paris, he 
visited the famous printing house of Didot, and 
taking hold of one of the presses with easy familiar- 
ity, printed off several sheets. To the startled 
printers who observed the performance, he said: 
"Do not be aftonifhed. Sirs, it is my former Bufi- 

To acknowledge having been a tradesman was, 
in the circle in French society in which he moved, 

Our Benjamin Fran kliu . 233 

almost to accept membership in the lower orders, 
but Franklin never hesitated to speak of his early 
experiences. At dinner one day in Paris in the 
presence of a distinguished company he addressed 
a young gentleman just arrived from Philadelphia, 
with the statement that he had always felt an obli- 
gation to the young man's family because his grand- 
father had been one of the first of his customers. 
In a letter to William Strahan, dated 1784, near 
the close of his life, a paragraph is written enter- 
tainingly in printing terms. It is as follows : 

"But let us leave these ferious ReHeclions and 
converfe with our ufual Pleafantry. I remember 
your obferving once to me as we fat together in 
the Houfe of Commons, that no two Journeymen 
Printers, within our Knowledge, had met with 
fuch Succefs in the World as ourfelves. You were 
then at the head of your Profeflion, and foon after- 
w^ards became a Member of Parliament. I was an 
Agent for a few Provinces, and now act for them 
all. But w^e have rifen by different Modes. I, as 
a Republican Printer, always liked a Form well 
plain'd down; being averfe to thofe overbearing 
Letters that hold their Heads fo high, as to hinder 
their Neighbours from appearing. You, as a 
Monarchift, chofe to work upon Crown Paper, and 
found it profitable, while I work'd upon pro patris 
(often indeed call'd Fools Cap) with no lefs ad- 
vantage. Both our Heaps hold out very well, 
and we feem likely to make a pretty good day's 
Work of it. With regard to Public Affairs (to 

234 Our Benjamin Franklin, 

continue in the same ftile), it feems to me that the 
Compofitors in your Chapel do not caft off their 
Copy well, nor perfectly understand Impofmg; 
their Forms, too, are continually pefter'd by the 
Outs and Doubles, that are not eafy to be correded. 
And I think they were wrong in laying afide some 
Faces, and particularly certain Head-pieces, that 
would have been both ufeful and ornamental. 
But Courage! The Bufmefs may ftill flourifh with 
good Management; and the Mailer become as rich 
as any of the Company." 

In a letter to Noah Webster dated the day after 
Christmas, 1789, he acknowledges receipt of that 
author's *' DilTertations on the Enghlh Language" 
and takes occasion to make a number of observa- 
tions relating to writing and printing. One point 
he brings out is that interrogation marks should be 
placed at the beginning of a sentence instead of 
at the end, so that one reading aloud would know 
how to modulate the voice. It was Franklin's 
practice usually to capitalize all important words, 
and he therefore takes occasion to deprecate the 
growing practice of restricting capitals to proper 
words. The letter goes on to state : 

" From the fame Fondnefs for an even and uni- 
form Appearance of Characters in the Line, the 
Printers have of late banifhed alfo the Itahc Types, 
in which Words of Importance to be attended to 
in the Senfe of the Sentence, and Words on which 
an Emphafis fhould be put in Reading, ufed to be 
printed. And lately, another Fancy has induc'd 

Our Ben] a m tn Fra nklin. 235 

fome Printers to ufe the fhort round s, inftead of the 
long one, vyhich formerly ferved well to distinguish a 
word readily by its varied appearance. Certainly, 
the omitting this prominent Letter makes the Line 
appear more even, but renders it lefs immediately 
legible; as the paring all Men's Nofes might fmooth 
and level their Faces, but would render their 
Phyfiognomies lefs diftinguifhable. 

"Add to all thefe Improvements backwards, an- 
other modern Fancy, that grey Printing is more 
beautiful than black; hence the Englilli new Books 
are printed in fo dim a Character, as to be read with 
difficulty by old Eyes, unlefs in a very Strong Light 
and with good Glaffes. Whoever compares a 
Volume of the 'Gentleman's Magazine,' print'd be- 
tween the Years 1731 and 1740 with one of thofe 
print'd in the last ten Years, will be convinc'd of the 
much greater Degree of Perfpicuity given by Black 
Ink than by grey. Lord Chefterfield pleafantly 
remark'd this Difference to Faulkener, the Printer 
of the Dublin Journal, who was vainly making 
Encomiums on his own Paper, as the mofi: complete 
of any in the World; But, Mr. Faulkener, said my 
Lord, don't you think it might be ftill farther im- 
prov'd by ufmg Paper and Ink not quite fo near of a 
Colour.^ For all thefe Reafons I cannot but willi 
that our American Printers would in their Editions 
avoid thefe fancied Improvements, and thereby 
render their Works more agreeable to Foreigners in 
Europe, to the great advance of our Bookfelling 

He felt strongly upon the matter of the misuse 
of capitals and italics. According to Professor 

236 Our Benjamin Franklin. 

Smyth, '*he wrote to the printer Woodfall, enclos- 
ing a contribution to his paper, asking him to take 
care that the compositor observed strictly the 
Italicking, Capitalling and Pointing!" And he 
told his son that his "Edict of the King of Pruflia" 
had been reprinted in the "London Chronicle," " but 
stripped of all the Capitalling and Italicking that 
intimate the allufions and mark the emphafis of 
written difcourfes, to bring them as near as pofTible 
to thofe fpoken. — Printing fuch a piece all in one 
even fmall Character, feems to me like repeating 
one of Whitefield's Sermons in the Monotony of a 
fchool boy." 

Among the memorial services held after Frank- 
lin's death, the part played by the printers of Paris 
in the meetings held in that city is worthy of 
quotation here: "They assembled in a large hall, 
in which there was a column surmounted by a bust of 
Franklin, with a civic crown. Below the bust were 
arrayed printers' cases and types, with a press, and 
all the apparatus of the art, which the philosopher 
had practiced with such distinguished success. 
While one of the fraternity pronounced a eulogy on 
Franklin, several printers were employed in com- 
posing it at the cases; and, as soon as it was finished, 
impressions of it were taken, and distributed to the 
large concourse of people, who had been drawn to- 
gether as spectators of the ceremony." 

The famous epitaph was written when the author 

Our Benjamin Franklin. 237 

was twenty-two years of age, but was never used, 
the grave in the old cemetery in Pliihulelphia being 
marked only by a simple stone giving the bare facts 
of his life. The epitaph reads: 





(like the cover of an old book, 

its contents torn out, 

and stript of its lettering and gilding,) 

lies here, food for worms. 

but the work shall not be lost, 






When he wrote his will in the closing days of his 
life it began, "I, Benjamin Franklin, of Philadel- 
phia, Printer, late Minister Plenipotentiary from 
the United States of America to the Court of 
France," etc. 

Franklin statues have been erected in most of the 
large cities of America, and his bust has a place in 

238 Our Benjamin Franklin, 

the decoration of school houses and other public 
buildings generally throughout the land. Every 
year in every important American city his birthday 
is celebrated by meetings and banquets of members 
of societies of advertising men, publishers, and 
printers. Printers claim him as their own by the 
statement that he is their "patron saint." 

Benjamin Franklin died April 17, 1790, at the 
age of eighty-four years and three months, at his 
home in Philadelphia, surrounded by his family 
and near friends. Four days later he was buried 
in Christ Church burial ground, at Fifth and Arch 
streets. In Philadelphia. In the funeral pro- 
cession, headed by the clergy of the city, were the 
chief members of the executive, legislative, and 
judicial departments of the government, and 
(according to the "Gazette of the United States," 
of April 28, 1790) "the Mayor and Corporation 
of the City of Philadelphia, the Printers of the 
city, with their Journeymen and Apprentices, 
the Philosophical Society, the College of Physicians, 
the Cincinnati, the College of Philadelphia, sun- 
dry other Societies — together with a numerous 
and respectable body of Citizens." The account 
in the "Gazette" continues: 

"The concourse of spectators was greater than 
ever was known on a like occasion. It is com- 
puted that not less than 20,000 persons attended 
and witnessed the funeral. The order and si- 

Our Benjamin Franklin 239 

lence which prevailed, during the Procession, 
deeply evinced the heartfelt sense, entertained 
by all classes of citizens, of the unparalleled vir- 
tues, talents, and services of the deceased." 

The grave in Christ Church burial ground is 
unmarked by a monument of any kind. Sim- 
plicity was the keynote of all the events of his 
long and useful life, and simplicity characterizes 
the final resting place of his earthly remains. 


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Almanac making in the Col- 
onies in the eighteenth 
century, 112 

"American Citizen" quoted, 

"American Weekly Mer- 
cury," 95 

Autobiography, alterations 
in, 202 

Bache, Benjamin Franklin, 

157, 165 
Balzac, quoted on Franklin, 

Baskerville, John, 154 
Bond, Dr., quoted, 226 
Boston, early population of, 


" Boston News-Letter" estab- 
lished, II 

Bradford, William, first 
printer in Philadelphia 
and New York, 1 1 

Burke, Edmund, 216 

Business before the Revolu- 
tion, 130 

Caslon, William, 152 
Childs, Francis, I4<; 
Colden, Cadwalladcr, 21:; 
Collins, John, 213 
Collinson, Peter, 215 
"Court of the Press," 103 
Craven Street, London, where 

Franklin lodged, 4S 
Cutler, Rev. Dr. Manasseh, 

quoted, 222. 

Day, Matthew, second prin- 
ter in the Colonies. 8 

Daye, Stephen, first printer 
in the Colonies, 5 

Dunlap, William, 140 

Editions of Franklin's works. 


First American magazine ad- 
vertisement, 81 

Fisher, Sydney George, 
quoted, 137 

Ford, Paul Leicester, quoted. 
81, 126 



Franklin, Benjamin, 
Birth, 13 

Goes to school, 14 
Adopts a trade, 15 
Terms of apprenticeship, 16 
Becomes publisher of the 
"New England Cour- 
ant," 28 
Runs away from Boston, 30 
In New York, 30 
Goes to Philadelphia, 31 
Lodges with Andrew Brad- 
ford, 35 
Meets Sir William Keith, 3 7 
Returns to Boston, 38 
Sails for London, 41 _ 
Goes to work at Samuel 

Palmer's, 42 
Sets type for Wollaston's 
" Religion of Nature," 43 
Goes to work for John 

Watts, 45 
Known as the "Water- 
American," 47 
As an athlete, 49 
Employed as a clerk, 50 
Draws up a plan of life, 


Religious belief, 57 

Foreman of Keimer's print- 
ing office in Philadelphia, 

Prints the New Jersey 
Money, 61 

Franklin, Benjamin, Con. 
Goes into business with 

Hugh Meredith, 62 
Secures the public print- 
ing, 64. 
Dissolution of partnership 

with Meredith, 65 
Marries, 67 

Becomes publisher of "The 
Universal Instructor," 
Becomes typefounder, 151 
Writes about the building 

of printing presses, 152 
Writes about sorts, 157 
Goes to France, 161 
Establishes himself in 

Passy, 161 
On the uses of words, 168 
Interest in medicine, 237 
Inventions, 237 
Franklin, James, gives em- 
ployment to Benj amin, 1 5 
EstabHshes "New Eng- 
land Courant," 20 
In prison, 26 
Franklin, James, Jr., 140 
Franklin, Josiah, 12 
Franklin, William Temple, 
quoted, 162, 186 
Inherits his grandfather's 

papers, 201 
Advertises for those not 
in his possession, 203 


"General Magazine," 72 
• Green, Bartholomew, prin- 
ter of the first American 
newspaper, 10 

Green, Samuel, third printer 
in the Colonies, S 

Hale, Edward Everett, 
quoted, 162 

Hall, David, 142 

Hall and Miller, 141 

Harris, Benjamin, publisher 
"Public Occurrences 
Both Foreign and Do- 
mestic," 10 

Harry, David, 65, 67 

Holland, Samuel, 140 

Hume, David, quoted, 179 

James, Thomas, typefounder, 

Jones, John Paul and " Poor 

Richard's Almanack," 

Johnson, Marmeduke, fourth 

printer in the Colonies, 9 
Junto, Formation of, 213 

"Kalendarium Pennsilvan- 

iense," no 
Keimer, Samuel, 65, 98 

Livingston, Luther S., 
quoted, 157, 164 

Mather, Rev. Increase, 24 

McMastcj. Jului Huch. 

quoted, I 12 
Meconi, Benjamin, 140 
Meredith, Hugh, Franklin's 

first partner, 60 

"New England Courant " es- 
tablished, 20 

New York, early popiil.iri..ii 
of, 4 

(Kcan travel early in tin- 
Kighteentli Century, ^o 

Parker, James, 141 
Pahner, Samuel, author of 
" A History of Printing," 

Parton, James, quoted. ;^. 

68, 131, 136 
"Pennsylvania Gazette, ' </*^ 
Advertisements in, 107, 

Philadelphia, earlv p<ipul.i- 

tion of, 4 
" Philadelphische Zeitimu." 

"Poor Richard's Almanack," 

Printing in Philadelphia in 

1728, 68 
Prophecy of the Death of 

Titan Leeds, I 20 

Ralph, James, 42, 213 
Roden, Robert F, quoted. 9 



Scheme for a new alphabet, 

153. i57» 193 
Scheme for Twenty-Four 

Hours, 56, 57 
"Sea Hens and Black Gowns," 

181, 182 
"Shavers and Trimmers," 

Smith, Adam, 216 
Smith Sydney, quoted, 195 
Smith, William, 141 
Smyth, Albert Henry, quoted, 

162, 195, 199, 200 
Socratic method of arguing, 

Sparks, Jared, quoted, 13, 199 
Strahan, William, 155 

"Supplement to the Boston 
Independent Chronicle," 


Thomas, Isaiah, quoted, 8, 

140, 196 
Timothy, Peter, 139 
"Touch of the Times," 69 

"Universal Instructor," 97 
Vaughan, Benjamin, 215 

Watson, John F., quoted, 

Webb, George, 95 
Webster, Noah, quoted, 192 
Whitemarsh, Thomas, 139 



^AN 1 8 1939